Visitors to Sun International’s magical Sun City resort in the North West will now have the convenience of flying direct to the Pilanesberg from Cape Town or Johannesburg. In a landmark agreement, the North West Safety and Transport Department has given local airline, SA Express, the contract to schedule commercial flights in and out of both Pilanesberg Airport as well as Mafikeng Airport.
The North West government confirmed on Friday, 13 March 2015, that SA Express’s first commercial flights to the Pilanesberg are scheduled for Wednesday, 1 April 2015. Bookings for flights are open. Current schedules are in place for JHB and Cape Town only. Based on the success of the Cape Town and Johannesburg routes, SA Express could consider opening flights from Durban in the future.
Michael Farr, Sun International’s Group General Manager: Corporate Brand and Communications says: “The fruition of this initiative, which has been some time in the making, bodes well for tourism in the North West. The availability of commercial flights to and from Pilanesberg will open up the gateway for easier and faster access to Sun City and the numerous attractions available in the Pilanesberg area.”
“Sun City, as a destination, as well as a launch-pad for business and leisure travellers’ adventures in the North West, is committed to the success of the SA Express routes to the Pilanesberg. We will be developing value-added packages for people travelling to the resort via SA Express to help encourage passenger volumes.”
Mr Inati Ntshanga, SA Express CEO said: “This is a significant milestone for us as an airline. It marks our coming of age as we turn 21 in two months’ time. For the first time in our 21-year history we will be flying in this province which makes us a truly regional South African airline that connects practically all of our major cities with small and outlying ones in our country. It is also in line with our strategy of making air travel accessible to as many South Africans as possible. Today we are declaring that air travel is not a luxury for the privileged few who own private jets. And this is an integral part of our growth strategy. In the medium term, we are looking at launching more routes as part of implementing our growth ambition.”
The legendary Sun City remains a premier vacation and entertainment destination, drawing over 3-million visitors each year. With four top quality hotels, a vibrant casino, magnificent sporting and recreational activities, two world-class golf courses, and the magical Lost City, Sun City offers unmatched leisure experiences for all tastes, desires and ages.
Once the gaming mecca of Southern Africa, Sun City’s focus now emphasizes the “African experience” following gaming concessions that have been awarded for in-city casinos elsewhere in the country. The Resort borders the game-rich and malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park where people can spot the Big Five on magnificent game drives and experience spectacular views of the reserve in hot air balloons.
Sun City’s accommodation options include the opulent Palace of the Lost City; the 5-star Cascades Hotel; the 4-star Sun City Hotel & Casino; the 3-star, family-friendly Cabanas Hotel, and the self-catering Vacation Club. The resort boasts a dazzling selection of restaurants, ranging from formal dining to casual; retail stores; take-away food outlets; night clubs; bars, cinemas, and cafes.
Home to the Nedbank Golf Challenge and the Miss South Africa Pageant, Sun City hosts a myriad of other exciting events throughout the year.
Owned by Sun International, southern Africa’s premium gaming, hospitality and entertainment groups, Sun City offers guests the assurance of quality entertainment experiences, superb facilities, and the unparalleled high standard of service for which the company is renowned. The Sun City Casino recently underwent a R50-million revamp to offer more machines and an improved ambiance.
SA Express will fly into the Pilanesberg from OR Tambo International Airport three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from Cape Town International Airport twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. Return flights from the Pilanesberg to Johannesburg are also on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and to Cape Town on Mondays and Fridays.
Cape Town to Pilanesberg flights cost R3 000 return (including all taxes and levies) and from Johannesburg return is R2 200 (including all taxes and levies).
Mr Ntshanga, who expects the new routes to bolster the airline’s revenues, said: “This is a game changer for this province. It catapults the province to the premier league of economic players”.
Bookings for these flights are available through SA Express at http://www.flyexpress.aero/