Eurowings Discover, Lufthansa’s long-haul leisure brand, will this year become the first intercontinental airline ever to start scheduled flights to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA), reports Southern & East African Tourism Update.
The service will form a direct link for the German market to directly access the Kruger National Park from Frankfurt.
The park is extremely popular with holidaymakers from Germany, who will now be able to reach it faster and more directly.
In its first season (15 November 2022 to 25 March 2023), the airline will fly three times a week from Frankfurt to Mbombela KMIA, with a short stopover in Windhoek.
The commencement of the KMIA services will be Eurowings Discover’s first foray into the South African market.
The airline has a strong commercial focus on leisure destinations on the African continent and Kruger Mpumalanga is the seventh destination offered by Eurowings Discover on the continent.
It has services from Frankfurt to Mombasa, Zanzibar, Mauritius and Windhoek, with Victoria Falls and Kilimanjaro on the cards.
“It’s needless to emphasise the attractiveness and popularity of South Africa among European holidaymakers,” said Helmut Woelfel, Chief Commercial Officer, Eurowings Discover.
“Our booking figures show that travellers from all over Europe are increasingly drawn to the vastness and beauty of the African continent.
“We are therefore relying on a versatile Africa programme this year and will continue to expand it in the future.”
Dr. André Schulz GM, Southern and East Africa, Lufthansa Group said: “Connecting people is at the heart of our company values and by adding a third destination to our South African network, which will be operated by our new leisure airline, Eurowings Discover.
“We are able to offer our customers even greater variety and convenience when planning their journey.
“We are extremely proud and excited to be the first European carrier to launch direct scheduled flight services to KMIA, thus further underlining our support for the restart of tourism in South Africa and our long-term commitment to the region.”
Commenting on the development, Grant Ponting, CEO of KMIA said: “Germany is one of Mpumalanga’s key tourist markets and, along with all our stakeholders and provincial partners, we are proud of our role in enabling this route development.
“This service from Frankfurt to KMIA also opens possible onward connectivity opportunities to other domestic and regional tourist destinations for our visitors.”
Johannes Nobunga, CEO of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) said: “This is a game-changing achievement as we intensify the implementation of the Mpumalanga Tourism Recovery Plan after the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism industry.”
Eurowings Discover promises a high-quality product with many services included.
The aircraft offers up to 300 seats, up to 30 of which are in business class (lie-flat seats), up to 31 in premium economy, and up to 244 in the economy.
In all three classes, guests can look forward to a special, high-quality travel experience with all meals and non-alcoholic beverages included in the fare.
It also offers free, great entertainment onboard, each seat with its own screen in all classes, with over 50 movies, 80 TV programmes, and numerous soundtracks.
Eurowings Discover passengers can quickly and easily connect to the Onboard Cloud via their own device to receive an extended entertainment offering with a wide selection of magazines and over 50 cutting-edge games, gaming streams as well as an integrated gaming platform.
*This article first appeared at https://www.tourismupdate.co.za/article/direct-flights-frankfurt-kruger-park