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Perth Airport: South African Airways Celebrate 60 Years in Perth

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28-Nov-2017 In November 1957, South African Airways operated its inaugural flight to Perth using a Douglas D.C.7B with 65 passengers onboard. Flying time totalled 21 hours and two scheduled stops in Mauritius and Cocos Islands were required.

Today, South African Airways ‘Wallaby’ service provides a daily flight between Perth and Johannesburg on an Airbus A340-300. The flight still uses the same flight numbers of SA280 after more than 60 years.

The Airline has also expanded its services with its codeshare partner Virgin Australia. This partnership provides passengers travelling from all around Australia, including regional Western Australia, access to the African continent via a seamless ‘under one roof’ transfer experience at Perth Airport.

“Over the past 60 years, Perth Airport and South African Airways have maintained a strong partnership that sees approximately 40,000 passengers from South Africa travel through our terminals each year,” said Kevin Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Perth Airport.

“Similarly, Australians love to travel to South Africa with over 72,000 passengers travelling there via Perth this year with the most popular destinations being Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth” continued Mr Brown.

South Africa – with its fantastic culture and attractions is a favourite destination for Western Australians to visit which has only been enhanced by South African Airways over the past 60 years,” said Mr Brown.

“I would like to congratulate South African Airlines on this significant milestone and I look forward to continuing our partnership to grow aviation travel between Perth and South Africa,” said Mr Brown.
South African Airways Country Manager for Australasia Tim Clyde-Smith said that South African Airways was the first ever foreign airline to fly into Perth in 1957.

“Initially we flew the famous 65-seat Douglas DC-7B aircraft from Johannesburg, stopping in Mauritius and the Cocos Islands. Flying time then was more than 21 hours, excluding stops” said Mr Clyde-Smith.

“Now the flight is more than half thanks to advances in aviation.” he continued.
“With the biggest route network on the African continent, South African Airways has flown thousands of Australians through our Australian home airport of Perth and we’re continuing to see strong patronage from recreational, business and VFR passengers.”

“A big advantage has been our close relationship with Perth Airport which has also seen many positive developments over the last 60 years. It has been a huge boost to our customers travelling with our codeshare partner Virgin to be able to transit within the same terminal which has been really welcome news for SAA,” Mr Clyde-Smith concluded.

South African Airways is a global airline who flies to over 35 destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and America.