TWO US AIRLINES DEFER THEIR CAPE TOWN ROUTE LAUNCH UNTIL 2021
(Posted 04th December 2020)
Following the earlier announcement by Delta Airlines, to postpone their relaunch of flights from Atlanta to South Africa has United Airlines also stated that their seasonal service between New York and Cape Town would not restart in December as was widely expected and hoped for by the Cape tourism and business community.
Regular sources in South Africa, while acknowledging the present drop in demand out of the US due to the raging pandemic, however also blame the South African government for their initial intransigence and neglect versus the country’s hospitality and tourism industry and their – as one put it ‘pathetically slow reopening‘ snail pace march to now Lockdown Level 1, which allows travel from and to South Africa as long as health regulations are met.
Only earlier this week did the South African government finally move to Lockdown Level 1, something the entire South African tourism and hospitality industry had wanted to happen already weeks ago.
Added the source quoted earlier: ‘The slow pace and the many contradictory messages put out by our government officials confused travelers from abroad and created the impression South Africa would not open for tourism until next year. Even travel professionals admitted they could not figure out just when they would be able to send clients again and as a result have sales activities literally come to a standstill. This came at a time when we most needed every single visitor to come and have their safaris or cultural tours, play golf or travel across our scenic routes at the Cape provinces.
The combination of all these factors will push many operators to the financial brink and it will take all of 2021 to repair the damage done to the perception travelers have about South Africa‘.