Eritrean Airlines launched its first flight at Cape Town today. The flight landed from Asmara in Eritrea at 16h40 to a traditional water canon salute from Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town International Airport’s Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighter department.
Later the flight left to OR Tambo International Airport at 17h40.
The new airline is set to offer direct and indirect flights between Cape Town and Asmara in Eritrea with four weekly regularly.
It will commerce weekly from Monday, Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays with its departures to Esmara scheduled for the same days.
The company says the airline will be use Airbus 319 aircraft with a seating capacity of 148 passangers with eight seats in business class and 140 seats in the economy class.
“On Wednesdays and Sundays the flight will start at OR Tambo International and return flight direct to Esmara with a refuelling stopover in Entebbe”, said Deborah Francis, Acting Communications manager at Cape Town International Airport.
This is the third regional airline to join the Mother City’s International airport family after Air Namibia and TAAG Angola Airlines success. “On Mondays and Fridays, it will fly directly to Cape Town from Esmara with a refuelling stop-over in Entebbe Uganda and its departure leg travel via OR Tambo International Airport.
“This is good news for the airport and the region especially as we saw a 17,14% increase in our regional arrivals passenger numbers for the month of March and a 18.26% increase in the month of April compared to the same period in 2011”.
The month of March also recorded 808 104 arriving and departing passengers, a slight difference from the 813 000 passengers processed in December 2012. “The international arrivals remain strong with a 14, 57% growth from March 2011”, added Francis.
At the end of 2011, the airport also welcomed two international airlines, thus Air France and Edelweiss Air from Switzerland, concluded Francis.-Ofentser@thenewage.co.za