South African low-cost carrier, FlySafair, is to introduce new links from Johannesburg and Cape Town to Durban and East London after initially asking the public to vote for their preferred new route among the four city pairs. The airline launched the campaign earlier this month, but rather than simply selecting the most popular choice, has decided to launch all four from the end of October 2015.
The airline launched service in October last year and has had a successful first eight months of operation, helping to reduce air fares on each of the routes it serves, while at the same time stimulating additional demand in some competitive markets.
FlySafair currently offers links from Cape Town to Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and George, as well as from Johannesburg to George and Port Elizabeth. Its activities on these routes, especially the Johannesburg – Cape Town route, one of the busiest in the world, will help it in its goal to bring additional competition into the local South African market and help drive down fares in the Durban and East London markets.
Network airlines Comair (operating under the British Airways brand) and South African Airways (SAA) as well as their respective low-cost businesses, Kulula and Mango, serve Durban’s King Shaka International Airport from both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
The East London market is less well served with Kulula and SAA having flights from Johannesburg and just regional carrier SA Express from Cape Town. The latter market, believed to be the most popular in the FlySafair marketing campaign, was also served by budget carrier 1Time Airlines prior to its closure so has had a previous low-cost operation.
Flysafir is part of aircraft leasing and management company, Safair, considered to be one of Africa's foremost leading aviation service providers with an established history of enabling airlines and operators to successfully navigate their business in an ever-changing business climate.
The company has expertise and experience in providing aircraft leasing, maintenance, special operations, chartering and training services and is majority controlled by South African interests, with the remaining 25 per cent shareholding owned by the Irish ASL Aviation Group.
Our analysis of Sabre Airport Data Intelligence O&D demand statistics highlights the estimated annual demand on these four routes over the past ten years.