Lufthansa to fly directly between Cape Town and Munich
The contract would be for 1 tourist season and we would have to prove to them (Lufthansa) that the route is viable - Alan Winde, Western Cape Tourism, Finance and Economic MEC.
Cape Town is a very popular tourist destination for European travellers, so the announcement that there are plans for Lufthansa to fly directly between Cape Town and Munich was well received by the travel industry.
Alan Winde, Western Cape Tourism, Finance and Economic MEC announced to the media last week that he is in the process of signing a deal with the German national airline that will facilitate direct flights to Cape Town.
This move comes after South African Airways (SAA) cancelled its direct route between Cape Town and London from 15 August 2012, saying that the route was unprofitable.
Winde told the press that he was reluctant to criticise the national carrier, but that Cape Town Tourism needed to find ways to offset the loss of direct routes to Cape Town from core European markets. He pointed out that the Western Cape has become very competitive in its tourism offerings and that direct flights are an essential element of marketing the destination.
'Currently 10% of the Western Cape’s economy is tourism-related and I would like to see this increase to 15% over the medium term,' Winde told the Business Day newspaper. 'However, a lot will depend on the Western Cape realising that tourism is serious business.'
Winde said that in his negotiations with Lufthansa it was decided the German airline would fly directly to the Mother City for a limited time to test the waters in terms of the route making financial sense.
'The contract would be for 1 tourist season and we would have to prove to them (Lufthansa) that the route is viable,' Winde said.
No doubt, Germany has had its focus set on Cape Town for some time. It was announced in August that German leisure carrier Condor would launch direct flights between Frankfurt and Cape Town from 3 November 2012.