Regularly scheduled passenger flights to Africa, Ireland, and Israel could soon be added at Miami International Airport.
South African Airways is considering connecting MIA to three African cities, TNM has learned. The airline would add a triangular Johannesburg – Cape Town – Miami – Johannesburg route. In addition, a second flight from Johannesburg would fly to Abidjan, Ivory Coast and then on to Miami.
In order to start the service, South African is requesting an exemption from Star Alliance to enter into an agreement with another carrier, and a meeting between the two sides is scheduled for this month. Should the alliance and airline’s board approve, the flights could be announced later this month and start in May 2016.
To Ireland, Aer Lingus is considering a Dublin-Miami flight. MIA officials traveled to Ireland to meet with the airline in August, but were told that the service likely wouldn’t start until the Summer of 2017.
Airport staff also continue to heavily court El Al, and held discussions with the airline in recent weeks. Traffic between Miami and Tel Aviv has grown 55 percent since 2009 despite the lack of a nonstop flight. Some of that traffic was funneled on American Airlines through Philadelphia, and MIA officials hope that American’s decision to pull out of Israel will lure El Al back to Miami.
KLM has also recently expressed interest in returning on the Amsterdam-Miami route. At the same time, Amsterdam’s airport has been lobbying American Airlines to start the route.
cape town/photo:renate dodell