Velvet Sky, South Africa’s new low cost airline, which flies between Cape Town and Johannesburg, will introduce a new route from Johannesburg to Polokwane from October 1.
Polokwane Airport was revamped at a cost of R30 million in time for the soccer World Cup, with a new passenger terminal and upgraded car hire facilities and roads. It is one of only 10 airports in South Africa with an international licence and can handle about 200 000 passengers a year.
It is near the Kruger Park and other attractions, and Polokwane is the economic hub of the region. But at present the airport handles only 22 scheduled domestic flights a week by Airlink, which carries mostly business travellers.
Velvet Sky will fly there eight times a week using a Boeing 737 or a DC-9 in an all economy configuration. It expects to carry tourists and business travellers in addition to workers from Johannesburg going home to Limpopo. Stephen Nthite, chairman of Velvet Sky, said tourism to the area was growing rapidly, with new businesses starting up.