The SA government finally lets Delta fly to Cape Town.

Delta Air Lines, based in the United States, has been awarded permission to fly to Cape Town as part of a triangle route connecting Atlanta and Johannesburg.
The proposal, which was originally submitted in 2020, was first refused by South Africa’s department of transport, prompting the United States to retaliate against South African Airways.
The Western Cape government has also expressed its displeasure with the contentious decision to prohibit Delta.

Delta’s proposal has been granted by the Western Cape government after a year of “extensive communication and an intergovernmental dispute procedure,” according to the government of the Western Cape.

South Africa’s department of transport, on the other hand, claims to be unaware of the decision to allow Delta access to the Cape Town port.

More articles may be found at (South African version).

An proposal by Delta Air Lines to operate flights between Atlanta and Cape Town — through Johannesburg – has finally been accepted by the South African government, ending an almost one-year-long standoff.

The recovery of international travel following the implementation of coronavirus-induced restrictions is resulting in increased competition among international airlines for lucrative new routes. Cape Town, being South Africa’s tourism hub, is one of the destinations that rival airlines in the United States are pursuing.

Flights between Atlanta and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport will return in August 2021, according to Delta Air Lines. Moreover, although the resumption was welcomed, it was overshadowed by controversy over an application for flights to Cape Town as part of a triangle route between Atlanta and Johannesburg that was denied.

Delta’s flights to Johannesburg were re-established after documents from the United States Department of Transportation were made public just before the flights were restored.

Delta was forced to “abandon” its offer as a result of the impasse, which was attributed to South Africa’s refusal to alter the airline’s Foreign Operator’s Permit. As a result, the United States Department of Transportation revoked South African Airways the coterminalization rights that had previously been granted to the airline (SAA).

When the Western Cape government made the decision to prohibit Delta, it was met with a barrage of criticism, particularly in light of the fact that Americans would be the country’s biggest tourist group by 2021.

Delta Airlines filed a fresh proposal for nonstop flights between Atlanta and Cape Town in February, which will run concurrently with its existing application for a triangle route. United Airlines submitted an application for flights between Washington, DC, and Cape Town, with service slated to begin in November a month later. There was a tit-for-tat exchange of insults between the two American airlines as a consequence of this.

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration accepted Delta Air Lines’ proposal to operate a triangle route between Atlanta, Johannesburg and Cape Town, much to the satisfaction of the Western Cape’s beleaguered tourist industry.

In a statement on Tuesday, David Maynier, the provincial minister of finance and economic opportunities, said that the approval of Delta Air Lines’ application to fly a triangular route between Atlanta, Johannesburg, and Cape Town was a “huge victory.” “We will continue to work hard to expand ‘air access,’ because more flights mean more tourists, who in turn mean more jobs in the Western Cape,” he added.

“We are dedicated to boosting investment, extending trade, and scaling up tourism with the United States, and so we look forward to welcoming Delta Air Lines to the Western Cape for the first time.” “We are excited to finally welcome Delta Air Lines to the Western Cape.”

Moreover, Maynier said, “extensive communication and an intergovernmental dispute procedure” were involved in the approval of Delta, which was launched by the province of Western Cape.

Delta’s first proposal for the triangle route, which was submitted in 2020, sought “year-round service with seasonal flexibility to adjust capacity to demand during off-peak times,” according to the company.

James Vos, a member of the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee for economic development and tourism, has also expressed his delight at the news.

“The news that Delta Air Lines of the United States has finally received approval from the South African government to fly a triangle route between Atlanta, Johannesburg, and Cape Town has provided a significant boost to the city’s economy,” stated Vos.

“It has taken a long time for this permission to be granted. The City has requested that I write many customised representations on their behalf to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on this topic over the course of the last several months.”

The approval of Delta by the Agency of Transportation has been met with enthusiasm by Maynier and Vos, but a representative for the department said he could neither confirm nor deny that such clearance had been obtained.

“The International Air Services Licensing Council is responsible for issuing the license.” On Tuesday, Venkile said that “as far as I am aware, the subject is before the council [and] that we are not aware of any decision.”

It was only recently that South Africa’s International Air Services Licensing Council was re-established after it had been vacant for a year and its operational powers were left in uncertainty.

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