German leisure-carrier Eurowings Discover on Wednesday (November 16) commenced direct international flights between Frankfurt and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP), marking the first intercontinental flight ever at the airport.
The Lufthansa subsidiary will operate up to three weekly flights between the Germans financial capital and Mpumalanga with a year-round service and is set to bring up to 30 000 passengers a year from Frankfurt to Kruger.
After a stopover in Windhoek (WDH), the Lufthansa subsidiary’s Airbus A330-300 touched down to an enthusiastic reception at the small airport outside Mbombela, Mpumalanga’s capital city.
The flight departs FRA at 21h55 on Tuesdays and Saturdays, landing in WDH at 09h05 the following day, departing for MQP at 10h20, touching down at 12h45.
There is currently one weekly return flight on the new route, leaving MQP at 15h40 on Wednesdays, landing at WDH at 18h15.
The flight leaves for FRA at 20h00, landing at 05h35 the following day.
The return flights leave MQP at 15h40 on Wednesdays and Sundays, landing at WDH at 18h15. The flight leaves for FRA at 20h00, landing at 05h35 the following day.
Germany is South Africa’s third-largest overseas source market, and the Kruger National Park (KNP) is a particularly sought-after destination, attracting approximately 170 000 German tourists annually pre-COVID.
Andreas Peschke, Germany’s Ambassador to South Africa, said, “KNP is part of the itinerary for the vast majority of Germans visiting South Africa, so the opportunity to fly direct to the region is a significant attraction. Flights to Johannesburg and Cape Town are in extremely high demand and it is in the mutual interests of both South Africa and Germany to meet this demand with an additional, innovative offering such as this, which brings flights from Germany up to more than 30 per week.”
Thandiwe Mathibela, Brand PR Manager for South African Tourism, added that the new route would serve the needs that the agency had identified through its collaboration with government, airlines and trade partners.
According to Lufthansa Group, Eurowings Discover has a strong commercial focus on leisure destinations on the African continent.
“Kruger Mpumalanga is the seventh destination offered by Eurowings Discover on the continent after already starting services from Frankfurt to Mombasa, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Windhoek, Victoria Falls and Kilimanjaro,” the airline noted in noted in statement.