SAA has announced that with effect from December 12, it will commence operating three flights a week to Lagos in Nigeria.

SAA has been flying to Nigeria for the past 23 years and the resumption of its service to Nigeria’s largest city and commercial hub will be a welcome addition to its growing continental offering. But it also envisages the route will become more important as an inbound tourism channel.

“Not only does the new Johannesburg-Lagos route function as a key economic link between the two countries but it will also service the burgeoning tourism market in both countries. SAA says it will continue in partnership with SA Tourism to promote the country in Nigeria, in the expectation that it will lead to more visitors now that international pandemic travel restrictions are being revised,” said an SAA media release.

Thomas Kgokolo, the airline’s Interim CEO said: “We’re delighted that we are again able to resume operations, providing a link between Africa’s two biggest economies.”

He said the airline’s intention is to continue to develop its route network driven by passenger demand and revenue potential. “We are constantly evaluating opportunities, both locally, regionally and internationally.”

Activity on the route presents only mild competition for SAA. Direct flights between Johannesburg and Lagos are in short supply – the direct route currently appears to be serviced only by Air Peace, two flights a week.

Read more from Tourism Update