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02nd February, 2016.

South Africa Airways starts Abuja - Johannesburg flight

The South Africa Airways (SAA) has commenced direct flight from Abuja to Johannesburg, South Africa.

The airline said the direct flight is part of measures to boost bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Africa.

Regional General Manager-Africa and Middle East, South African Airways, Aaron Munetsi and the Country Manager-Nigeria Thobi Duma said that it has always been the dream of SAA to ensure the air travel in the continent hence it sustained efforts since it began operation in Nigeria in 1998 in Lagos as the then Federal Capital of the country.

The flight will be on simultaneous to and fro operation and would be on three times weekly for a start.

South Africa High Commissioner to Nigeria Ambassador Lulu Louis Mnguni during the formal launch in November 2015 in Abuja said the flight will among others engender the tourism relationship between Nigeria and his country and that more Nigerians are expected to visit South Africa and vice versa.

"We are happy to witness and to deepen Africa Agenda. We can have another Krouga Park in Bauchi State through tourism exchange. This will also assist the youths of the two countries to collaborate with each other and generate more employment opportunities that can also be used to stem the insurgency in the South East," Mnguni said.

Munetsi said a Boeing A330-200 would be used for today's inaugural flight and that the three times weekly flight would be soon be extended to be a daily flight.

He also said that the South Africa government is not in any way subsidizing any of the operational cost of the airline apart from the developmental national mandate which was given to facilitate governmental relationship with countries SAA is operating in.

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