Norse Cargo eyes South African wines

European wine connoisseur should be delighted. From 28OCT24, the Norwegian airline Norse Atlantic Airways will be connecting Europe with South Africa utilizing a Boeing 787. On board the aircraft on their northbound return flights: many types of local wines grown in the Cape region, known for their super quality and flavor.

Norse Atlantic Airways plans to connect London with Cape Town. The first Dreamliner will take off on 28OCT24 – picture CFG/hs

The brands and their producers are worldwide well known, like Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Sauvignon from Franschhoeck, Chenin Blanc from Allesverloren in the Swartland or Stellenbosch-produced Sauvignon Blanc, to name just three examples. The fact that South Africa is a highly recognized winemaker benefits not only the passengers that Norse will soon be flying to Cape Town and back to London Gatwick, but also the budget airline itself. Even though most wines are transported by ocean freight, their share of air freight is substantial.

Two-way cargo traffic
Currently, it is still too early to speculate on volumes, which will level off, but the first Norse flight to Africa is also interesting from an air freight perspective. Above all, it is two-way traffic. This is because mainly European industrial goods such as automotive parts, machinery, tools and pharmaceutical products are traveling southbound transported, while tropical fruits, fishery products, gold, platinum and diamonds are exported from South Africa to many parts of the world, including Europe and the UK. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, key markets for goods made in South Africa are China (USD 23.4 billion in 2023), the United States (USD 11 billion), Germany (USD 10 billion), India (USD 9 billion) and Japan (USD 8.85 billion).

Cape Town and beyond
Alongside domestic and intra-African flights, the UK is the most popular destination for South Africans, evidenced by steadily growing traffic figures following the C19 pandemic. For passengers traveling southbound, Norse has partnered with local service provider Cape Town Air Access to enable their guests who desire to explore larger parts of South Africa convenient connectivity. The overarching aim of the organization, existing since 2015 is driving economic growth, bolstering tourism, and increasing air cargo capacity to and from the Cape region. This is achieved through partnerships with local airlines that operate feeder flights to and from Cape Town International. 

Politician predicts the flights a “great success”
Asked about the upcoming Norse flights, Provincial Minister for Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, lauded the carrier’s intend. “As a world-class tourism destination, and home to some of the best wines, culinary delights, adventure, and leisure options in the world, as well as breath-taking natural beauty, I am certain that this new route will be a great success, offering international visitors the opportunity to enjoy the many and diverse offerings we have across the Western Cape. This is also excellent news for our economy because more tourists mean more jobs in the province.”

Mark Maclean, Regional General Manager for Cape Town International Airport stated: “New routes solidify renewed confidence in the City, the region and country’s appeal, and contributes to bolstering its economic growth.”

Finally, Bjorn Tore Larsen, CEO and Founder of Norse Atlantic Airways said: “Norse Atlantic is committed to delivering exceptional value without compromising on quality and we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the wonders of the world and our new route between London and Cape Town will allow many more people to visit these amazing destinations.” Norse Atlantic’s fleet consists of 14 Dreamliners, with two of the jetliners operates 14 Dreamliners, of which two have been leased to Spanish airline Air Europa.

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