17 January 2019

South African Airways improves luggage through-checks!

South Africa's flag carrier, South African Airways (SAA), has improved luggage through-checks for passengers across the SAA brand and its codeshare partner airlines. Passengers on codeshare flights are now able to through-check their baggage to the final destination when booked on South African Airways' "SA code" all the way, connecting between SAA, Mango, SA Express, Airlink and other codeshare partner operated flights.
Example: Customers can now through-check all the way from Durban-Johannesburg-Frankfurt-Stockholm when travelling on the "SA code" on a Mango operated flight from Durban – Johannesburg, then on an SAA operated flight from Johannesburg to Frankfurt and further on the "SA code" on a Lufthansa operated flight from Frankfurt to Stockholm.
Please not that all international arriving customers, with their final destination in South Africa, still need to collect their baggage at the first port of entry as per customs regulations. However, travellers booked on flights with South African Airways' "SA code"  can make use of the conveniently located South African Airways and Mango re-check facility at the international arrivals hall for their onward domestic connections.

Mango is a South African low-cost airline and a subsidiary of South African Airways. SA Express, a regional airline from South Africa, is operationally independent of South African Airways, but its flights are incorporated within the strategic alliance with South Africa's flag carrier. SA Airlink, also a regional airline from South Africa, has code-sharing and schedule co-ordination agreements with South African Airways and South African Express.

South Africa: Intercape and Greyhound have reopened routes to Zimbabwe! [update]

update (17 January 2019): Greyhound just announced that services to/from Zimbabwe - as well as to Malawi - have resumed!

Intercape, one of South Africa's largest and most popular luxury coach transport service providers, has resumed services to/from Zimbabwe and Malawi on 17 January 2019. The services were suspended due to the political unrest in Zimbabwe since 14 January 2019. The services of Greyhound, another popular luxury coach transport operator in South Africa which also canceled services to/from Zimbabwe on 14 January 2019, remain canceled. We'll keep you posted!

16 January 2019

Karoo National Park: Bulkraal Picnic Site temporarily closed until further notice!

The Bulkraal Picnic Site in the Karoo National Park is temporarily closed until further notice. According to South African National Parks (SANParks), the popular spot is closed due to the water crisis in Beaufort West, and also due to a water pipe that needs to be repaired. Situated off the Lammerjiesleegte loop in the eastern part of the Karoo National Park, Bulkraal is a lovely picnic spot that features numerous braai sites and a swimming pool. Ablution facilities are also provided. Beaufort West, known as the "Capital of the Karoo", is located next door to the Karoo National Park.

15 January 2019

South Africa is one of the World's most instagramable countries!

According to global travel site Big 7 Travel, which forms part of Big 7 Media, South Africa is the fifth most instagramable country worldwide. Australia was named the World's most instagramable country, followed by Hong Kong, Canada and Indonesia. To create the list of the most instagrammable countries 2019, Big 7 Travel used a comprehensive scoring system that analysed the amount of hashtags per destination, survey results of about 1.5-million Big 7 Media readers, and votes cast by a panel of travel experts.

World's Most Instagrammable Countries 2019:

  1. Australia – 89.98%
  2. Hong Kong – 86.99%
  3. Canada – 82.84%
  4. Indonesia – 81.10%
  5. South Africa – 80.94%
  6. Maldives – 80.23%
  7. India – 80.00%
  8. United States of America – 79.97%
  9. Dubai – 79.92%
  10. Singapore – 79.45%

South Africa: Greyhound & Intercape have canceled all services to/from Zimbabwe [update]

update (16 January 2019): Greyhound has canceled all trips to/from Zimbabwe until further notice. Intercape has suspended services to/from Zimbabwe and Malawi for today!

Greyhound and Intercape, two of South Africa's largest and most popular luxury coach transport service providers, have both temporarily canceled all services to/from Zimbabwe due to the current political unrest in the country. This includes all coaches departing on 15 January 2019. Intercape has also canceled all services to/from Malawi. We advise to contact Greyhound or Intercape in case your travels are affected by the cancellation of services. We'll keep you posted!

14 January 2019

Fastjet cancels all flights to/from Harare for the remainder of the day (14 January 2019)!

Fastjet (Zimbabwe) has canceled all flights to and from Harare for the remainder of the day (14 January 2019) due to the current unrest affecting travel on the streets of Harare, and in particular to and from Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE). Affected customers will be allowed to change their bookings to a later date as long as travel is completed before 22 January 2019. Change fees will be waivered. Airfare differences may apply if the same fare is not available. We recommend to contact Fastjet (Zimbabwe) in case your flight in affected. [src.]

Malaria: South African Malaria Risk Map (December 2018)

South Africa's National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) has published a new and updated South African Malaria Risk Map (December 2018). In South Africa, malaria transmission occurs in the north-eastern part of the country, mainly in the low altitude (below 1 000m above sea-level) areas of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern part of  KwaZulu-Natal. Limited local transmission may occasionally occur in the North West Province and in the Northern Cape along the Molopo and Orange rivers. Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Park are the only two National Parks in South Africa that are situated in malaria risk areas. The risk of malaria in both of these parks is usually low, even in the summer months. Malaria is distinctly seasonal in South Africa, with the highest risk being during the wet summer months (September to May).

Malaria, South Africa, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, risk map
Source: NICD; click on map to enlarge

Zimbabwe: Fastjet increased flights between Harare <> Bulawayo!

Fastjet (Zimbabwe) has increased the number of flights between Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare and Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ) in Bulawayo to cope with with increasing demand. Since 10 January 2019, the airline operates two daily flights instead of one daily flight on the route. The new schedule includes a morning and evening departure, leaving Harare at 07:00 and again at 19:15, with return flights departing Bulawayo at 8:20 and 20:35.

11 January 2019

South Africa: The South African Civil Aviation Authority has grounded CemAir AGAIN!

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has grounded South African regional carrier CemAir again (!) with immediate effect. According to a press release released on SACAA's Facebook page, the suspension of the airline's Air Operator Certificates (AOC) was necessitated by the SACAA's concerns over the systematic failure of CemAir's maintenance controls. We'll keep you posted!

Air Tanzania to resume flights from Dar Es Salaam to Harare and Lusaka!

Tanzania's flag carrier, Air Tanzania, is set to resume scheduled from Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar Es Salaam to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) in Harare and Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) in Lusaka on 22 February 2019. The airline will operate three weekly flights from Dar Es Salaam to Lusaka via Harare and from Lusaka via Harare to Dar Es Salaam on board an Airbus A220-300 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

10 January 2019

SA Express to resume flights from Cape Town to Walvis Bay and Bloemfontein!

South African state-owned regional airline SA Express is set to resume flights from Cape Town to Walvis Bay and Bloemfontein. According to the airline, daily flights between Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Walvis Bay International Airport (WVB) in Walvis Bay will be resumed on 12 January 2019. The service between Cape Town and Bram Fischer International Airport (BFN) in Bloemfontein will be resumed on 13 January. SA Express will operate daily flights on this route, with two frequencies from Monday to Friday, and one flight on Saturdays and Sundays.

09 January 2019

South Africa's most punctual domestic airlines in December 2018!

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has published the on-time performance results of domestic airlines’ flying out of OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and Durban's King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in December 2018.
On-Time Performance is measured by comparing the actual off-block time (when aircraft pushes back) against the airline schedule time for a departing flight. The measurement is done in accordance with the IATA (International Airlines Transport Association) universal standard benchmark with considers a 15 minute deviation from the scheduled time as an on-time departure.

OR Tambo International Airport (JNB), Johannesburg - 15 Min on Time Performance December 2018 (airport target 87%)
  1. FlySafair - 91.96% (November 91.91%)
  2. Airlink - 84.12% (November 83.81%)
  3. SA Express - 79.64% (November 84.92%)
  4. South African Airways - 77.10% (November 76.34%)
  5. Mango - 72.81% (November 75.43%)
  6. CemAir - 72.13% (November 77.84%)
  7. British Airways Domestic - 67.10% (November 71.45%)
  8. Kulula.com - 64.88% (November 59.05%)
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.-- (November --.--%)
Cape Town International Airport (CPT), Cape Town - 15 Min on Time Performance December 2018 (airport target 90%)
  1. FlySafair - 94.31% (November 93.82%)
  2. Airlink - 88.38% (November 86.52%)
  3. South African Airways - 83.43% (November 76.44%)
  4. CemAir - 81.12% (November 93.02%)
  5. Mango - 80.95% (November 80.50%)
  6. Kulula.com - 71.07% (November 72.56%)
  7. British Airways Domestic - 67.76% (November 71.56%)
  8. SA Express - --.--% (November --.--%)   
  9. Fly Blue Crane Aviation - --.--% (November --.--%)
King Shaka International Airport (DUR), Durban - 15 Min on Time Performance December 2018 (airport target 91%)
  1. FlySafair - 94.82% (November 93.50%)
  2. Airlink - 92.93% (November 90.59%)
  3. South African Airways - 80.99% (November 77.91%)
  4. Mango - 80.85% (November 81.06%)
  5. SA Express - 80.85% (November --.--%)
  6. British Airways Domestic - 74.50% (November 70.40%)
  7. Kulula.com - 72.26% (November 72.26%)