Qantas edging closer to a Perth-Johannesburg service
Qantas is close to announcing a new three-times weekly flight to Johannesburg from Perth from November 1 this year in a major travel boost for Western Australia.
The service is subject to final negotiations with Perth Airport and the normal government approvals.
The Airbus A330 service flight QF65 will depart Perth at noon and arrive in Johannesburg at 5.15pm and the return service, QF66, will depart Johannesburg at 7.20pm and arrive in Perth at 11.15am the next day.
The much anticipated flight will replace the void left by the demise of South African Airways.
The A330 seats 27 business suites and 224 economy seats.
While the flights are in Qantas’s reservation system they are blocked from sale with agents expecting a seat sale when the service is formally announced this week.
Rather than a seasonal service travel agents tell the West Australian that it appears the service will be year round.
It is expected that the service will depart from Qantas’s international facility at T3, where the London, Rome and Singapore flights operate from.
Industry sources say this announcement will be part of a suite of announcements to be made this week by Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, who arrived in Perth on Tuesday, to underpin Perth as a major international gateway for Qantas.
Mr Joyce will be addressing The West Australia’s Leadership Matters series this morning (Wednesday) at Crown.
A Qantas spokesman said; “Qantas is always looking at new routes and Perth-Johannesburg is one we’ve had our eye on for some time.
“There are still a some hurdles we need to clear, including coming to an agreement with Perth Airport, before we would be confident we could make this route a success.”
A Perth Airport spokesman said: “We are looking forward to the launch of the new Perth-Rome service this weekend and we are happy to continue discussions with Qantas about a potential Johannesburg service.”
Sources suggest that a commitment to the seasonal Rome flights for 2023 and a second Perth to London nonstop service could also be announced this week.
The Perth to London nonstop flight is the most popular in Qantas’s international network with load factors as high as 95 per cent prior to the pandemic.
The daily service has now returned with heavy bookings say travel agents with virtually no seats available for the next two months.
A Perth Airport spokesman said “we are happy to continue discussions with Qantas about a potential Johannesburg service.”
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