Targeting the African market, India’s largest private carrier Jet Airways Wednesday began its daily non-stop flights from Mumbai to Johannesburg – its 23rd international destination.

“Given the strong linkages between India and South Africa, and the large number of people of Indian origin living in and working in South Africa, we believe that there is untapped potential and this new route promises to serve the needs of our discerning corporate and leisure flyers,” the airline’s chief executive Nikos Kardassis said in a statement.

According to the airline, Johannesburg is emerging as one of the leading business tourism and conference destinations. It is also an attractive foreign investment destination.

“South Africa’s reputation as a leading tourist and business destination and the fact that it will play host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup also presents a huge opportunity for Jet Airways,” said Kardassis.

“We will also offer seamless connectivity across the African region and onward connections to other African cities,” he added.

The Mumbai-Johannesburg Jet flight 9W 242 will leave Mumbai at 0205 hours, arriving in Johannesburg at 0735 hrs. On the return leg, flight 9W 241 will leave Johannesburg at 1100 hrs, arriving in Mumbai at 2330 hrs.

The airline has deployed Airbus 330-200 on the route offering seats in two classes – 30 seats in premiere (business class) and 190 seats in economy class.

Return economy fares from various Indian cities start from Rs.35,595 (around $712) while return business class fares start from Rs.116,020 (around $2,320).

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