Lufthansa Group’s leisure airline, Eurowings Discover (4Y), debuted its first flight from Frankfurt to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) in Mbombela on Tuesday.
Eurowings’ flight 4Y142 was welcomed with a water salute and a festive ceremony after a short stopover in Windhoek.
According to Eurowings, it will operate up to three weekly direct flights between Frankfurt and KMIA with a year-round service, making it the only carrier operating direct flights between South Africa’s Province of Mpumalanga and Germany.
The carrier 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 after already starting services from Frankfurt to Mombasa, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Windhoek, Victoria Falls and Kilimanjaro.
Eurowings Discover Chief Commercial Officer, Helmut Woelfel, said that they are both thrilled and proud to start flight operations between Frankfurt and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport as the first intercontinental airline ever.
“For me personally, it is a special pleasure to be on board of today´s Eurowings Discover inaugural flight. It is a truly unique addition not only to our own leisure portfolio but also to the whole Lufthansa Group network,” said Woelfel.
Mpumalanga MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Ms Nompumelelo Hlophe, also gave a warm welcome to Eurowings Discover.
She said that Mpumalanga is very excited about the landing of the first-ever direct flight from Germany, which is a sign of trust and confidence in their tourism industry.
“We’re very delighted that this will further expose and promote the destination of Mpumalanga as an international tourist destination of choice. We’re quite certain that the direct flight by Eurowings Discover will increase the number of international tourists from Germany and Europe in general,” said Hlophe.
SA Tourism Chief Operating Officer Nomasonto Ndlovu also said that Germany is a key source market for South Africa, and evidence of this has been seen in the body’s insights and their engagement with German tourists that they want to be outdoors exploring and enjoying nature.
“Mpumalanga offers this and more. The province has a wide variety of experiences in wide-open spaces, wildlife as well as quaint little towns characterised by unique South African cultures with warm and welcoming people always ready to receive and cater to tourists. South Africa is indeed open for business, and we invite visitors from this market to use South Africa's extensive network to also explore the other parts of our country as we have a wide variety of tourism products and experiences," said Ndlovu.
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