South African Airways to fly to Guangzhou

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South African Airways (SAA) will open its first new route since implementing its turnaround strategy, by providing a link between Johannesburg and Guangzhou, China.

The flights to the heart of China’s export led manufacturing industries will start on 18 September, operating three times a week using an Airbus A340-300 and taking around 13 hours 40 minutes.

As well as providing passenger links, the Guangzhou flight will be of interest to traders, with SAA saying that cargo will complement the viability of the route.

Guangzhou is the largest city in Guangdong province and is an important transportation hub and trading port, located on the Pearl River about 120 kilometres northwest of Hong Kong.

Vuyani Jarana, CEO of SAA says: “Adding a direct service to mainland China, combined with our current popular flights to Hong Kong provides SAA with immense growth opportunities to and from mainland China. It also gives our traders access to the centre of Chinese manufacturing.”

Guangdong is described as “the world’s manufacturing hub”, and SAA says that formal and informal traders source the majority of goods purchased in Sub-Saharan Africa from the province due to Africa’s poor manufacturing capacity.