4 April 2014
British Airways opened a R19.8-million luxury lounge at Cape Town International Airport on Wednesday, a month ahead of the airline’s increased schedule of flights to the city.
The lounge, which can accommodate 148 people, is modelled on the Galleries Lounges concept at England’s Heathrow Airport.
Speaking at the official opening, Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde said he was “thrilled” that British Airways had selected Cape Town International “as the first South African airport at which they will offer travellers this world-class experience.
“This speaks to the confidence British Airways has in our destination. The UK is certainly one of our most strategic source markets, and I would like to thank British Airways for continuing to invest in bringing business and leisure tourism to us.”
Winde said direct flights provided a significant boost for tourism. In 2012, 438 023 visitors travelled from the United Kingdom to South Africa, with 181 886 of these visiting the Western Cape.
“Air access is a critical factor in increasing tourism. That is why we are in the process of developing an air access strategy through which we are investigating the establishment of further direct routes between Cape Town and strategic destinations,” he said.
In December, British Airways announced that it would add three Cape Town flights a week to its (Northern Hemisphere) summer schedule, taking it from a daily service to 10 flights a week.