The Western Cape has welcomed the news that Delta Air Lines’ application to fly a triangular route between Atlanta, Johannesburg and Cape Town has finally been approved by the SA national government. The approval, which had previously been denied, means that tourists and South Africans living in the US will soon be able to enjoy direct flights between Atlanta and Cape Town.
Getting approval, which was initiated by the Western Cape Government, was no mean feat – and followed extensive correspondence, and an intergovernmental dispute process, relating to how foreign operator permit applications are processed.
David Maynier, Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, said this is a “big win” and that the WC Government will continue to work hard to expand “air access” because more flights mean more tourists, and more tourists means more jobs in the Western Cape.
Delta announced its intention, in February, to operate a year-round route with a schedule of three flights per week from Atlanta to Cape Town, start mid-November 2022 (which was pending this DOT approval).
According to Wesgro’s CEO Wrenelle Stander, over the past decade, the US has been the largest source of FDI by value (R19.68-billion) into the Western Cape. Stander said in February: “The US remains a key tourism and export market for South Africa. For the first time, the US was the number one country for Western Cape exports in 2021.”
Maynier said today: “We remain committed to increasing investment, expanding trade and scaling up tourism with the United States, and so we look forward to finally welcoming Delta Air Lines to the Western Cape.”
He added: “We remain committed to working with the national government to find solutions to the challenges we face but the intergovernmental dispute process is ongoing.”