UK charter company AV8Air has announced today that it will start year-round direct flights from Manchester and Dublin to Cape Town from November 2003.
Operating under the CT2 (Club Travel 2000) brand, the new charter airline will be joining the growing number of airlines linking Cape Town directly with international destinations. CT2 will bring in two Boeing 767-300 flights a week, each with a capacity of 278 passengers.
AV8Air is a Manchester-based charter company, owned by a tour operator and selling packaged holidays. Apart from the Cape Town route, it flies holidaymakers to two destinations in Spain as well as the Canary Islands. Unlike scheduled flights, charter flights are typically more than 90% booked with holidaymakers who have bought package trips of one or two weeks duration.
Visiting the two-day ACSA Airline Destination Workshop at the Cape Town Convention Centre on 25 and 26 September, AV8Air managing director Michael O’Donovan said the Cape Town destination had been selected after exhaustive research of long-haul destinations as offering the UK holidaymaker a largely untapped destination at the best value.
“Because of apartheid and sanctions, South Africa has been in the tourist wilderness for 40 years, and among many British the perception of the old South Africa as a country they would not want to visit still lingers. But those who give the country a chance are finding that it is a beautiful and pleasant country, and is excellent value for money,” says O’Donovan.
“The Cape Town market remains largely untapped in our opinion and we saw the opportunity to sell the destination to a market which knows something of South Africa, but which barely 2 percent to 3 percent have ever visited,” he says.
To create a year-round destination, CT2 intends shifting the destination from Cape Town to Durban and Port Elizabeth respectively during the winter months, to capture the balmier Indian Ocean weather and also tap into alternative attractions.
“The attractions are beauty, game parks, access to the Garden Route as well as the cultural significance of the Anglo-Boer War which is as much a part of British history as it is South African.” One flight will be direct from Manchester, and the other will fly via Dublin to Cape Town. It will be the first direct link between Ireland and South Africa.
For more information, please contact:
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA)
Tel. +27 11-723 1520
Mobile. +27 82 781 8863
Fax. +27 11-453 9234