Lufthansa Group’s leisure airline, Eurowings Discover (4Y), took off from Frankfurt on Tuesday evening at 9:55 pm and touched town in Mbombela, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA), at 14:10 pm for the first time. After a short stopover in Windhoek, flight 4Y142 was welcomed with a water salute and a festive ceremony.
As of 15 November 2022, Eurowings Discover operates up to three (3) weekly direct flights between Frankfurt and KMIA with a year-round service. This makes Eurowings Discover the only carrier operating direct flights between South Africa’s Province of Mpumalanga and Germany.
Eurowings Discover has a strong commercial focus on leisure destinations on the African continent. Kruger Mpumalanga is the seventh destination offered by Eurowings Discover on the continent after already starting services from Frankfurt to Mombasa, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Windhoek, Victoria Falls and Kilimanjaro.
“We are both thrilled and proud to start flight operations between Frankfurt and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport as the first intercontinental airline ever. For me personally, it is a special pleasure to be on board of today´s Eurowings Discover inaugural flight. It is a truly unique addition not only to our own leisure portfolio but also to the whole Lufthansa Group network. It was never easier for travellers from all over Europe to experience the beauty and diversity of this stunning nature and wildlife reserve which is particularly popular with holidaymakers from Germany,” says Helmut Woelfel, Chief Commercial Officer at Eurowings Discover.
Welcoming the landing of the first ever Eurowings Discover direct flight from Germany to Mpumalanga, an elated Mpumalanga MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Ms Nompumelelo Hlophe, said:
“As Mpumalanga, we are very much excited about the landing of the first ever direct flight from Germany; this is a sign of trust and confidence in our tourism industry. We’re very delighted that this will further expose and promote the destination of Mpumalanga as an international tourist destination of choice. We’re quite certain that the direct flight by Eurowings Discover will increase the number of international tourists from Germany and Europe in general. We welcome the initiative, and we encourage other airlines to also consider flying directly into our province. Indeed, when we unite in purpose, we will surely be greater than the sum of our parts. I believe that this partnership will not only accelerate economic activity through tourism, but will also bring Europeans and our people closer, for future collaborative efforts”.
“This is really good news. Both for South Africa as a tourism destination, and for German visitors who want to enjoy this part of this unique country. Welcome, Eurowings Discover, to Kruger Park! Namukelekile!” added German Ambassador Andreas Peschke.
“On behalf of all of us at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, I would like to extend a very warm and truly unique welcome to Eurowings Discover and their inaugural flight between Frankfurt and Mpumalanga. Watching the wheels touchdown today was an incredible moment for all of us. We are proud of our role in this game changing route development and look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to fully realise the potential of our region’s wonderful tourist assets and the sustainability of this direct intercontinental schedule to and from Europe.” – Grant Ponting, CEO – KMI Airport.
“The Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) is excited to see the fulfilment of this dream of landing the first direct flight from Frankfurt to Mbombela. This is a game changing achievement for the province. This direct flight from Frankfurt to KMIA will promote the destination and increase tourist numbers to the province. We look forward to providing our tourists from Germany with a memorable experience of wildlife, scenic beauty, adventure, culture and heritage,” said Mr Mduduzi Vilakazi, Acting CEO of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency.
“Germany is a key source market for South Africa. We know from our insights and from our engagement with German tourists that they want to be outdoors exploring and enjoying nature. Mpumalanga offers this and more. The province has a wide variety of experiences in wide-open spaces, wildlife as well as quaint little towns characterised by unique South African cultures with warm and welcoming people always ready to receive and cater to tourists. South Africa is indeed open for business and we invite visitors from this market to use South Africa’s extensive network to also explore the other parts of our country as we have a wide variety of tourism products and experiences,” said Ms Nomasonto Ndlovu, Chief Operating Officer at SA Tourism.