South African Airways (SAA), Africa's largest airline by turnover, launched a non-stop route between Beijing and Johannesburg on 31st, Jan, which is the first direct route between the Chinese mainland and South Africa.
SAA will operate this route three times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) using Airbus A340-600 aircraft, with a 15-hour flying time. The flight from Johannesburg to Beijing leaves at 00:20 and lands in Beijing at 20:50 the same day. The return flight takes off at 23:20 from Beijing and arrives in Johannesburg at 08:10 the following day. (All times are local times)
The price of the flights will be competitive, compared with current flights with stopovers in Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai, said Siza Mzimela, Chief Executive Officer of SAA.