More flights from London promise an influx of tourists to Cape Town this summer, while short-haul air travel within and around the United Kingdom is being canceled.

The number of international visitors to South Africa increased in Q1 2022, but it was still significantly lower than it had been before the pandemic. A return to normalcy in South Africa’s tourism industry was hampered by the fact that Europeans preferred to spend the summer in neighboring countries despite the onset of winter shortly after the lockdown was lifted.

However, major airports in South Africa have become chaotic due to a recent increase in travel, especially from Europe.

As the first summer season since the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions were lifted in 2020, the upcoming season holds great promise for South Africa’s tourism industry.

British Airways’ three-weekly Boeing 777-200 service between London Gatwick and Cape Town will resume between December 13 and March 25, 2023. From November 13 through March 25, 2022, the airline will increase its London-Heathrow service by adding a second daily flight on an Airbus A350-1000.

The daily Virgin Atlantic flight from London Heathrow to Cape Town will resume on November 5.

Due to increased service from both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, there will be 24 weekly flights between London and Cape Town during the latter city’s summer.

“Happy to share the good news that starting in November, there will be a total of 24 flights per week between Cape Town and the UK for the summer season,” City of Cape Town Mayoral Member for Economic Growth and Tourism James Vos said on Twitter on Monday.

“We are working around the clock to get the tourism industry back on track. Everyone is interested in the visitor economy.”

While South Africa can expect more flights and visitors this summer, short-haul flights to and from Heathrow Airport, which capped capacity in July to avoid disruptions, will be reduced during the same time period.

British Airways will cut approximately 10,000 short-haul flights between late October and March 2023 as a result of baggage handling system issues that have resulted in lost and delayed luggage.

Although Virgin Atlantic has not confirmed any new cancellations for later this year, the airline has recently expressed dissatisfaction with Heathrow Airport’s decision to extend its passenger capacity cap until the end of October.

Heathrow’s daily limit of 100,000 departing passengers has previously resulted in Virgin Atlantic cancellations, with flights to New York and Delhi among the many routes affected in July.

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