Category Archives: Cheap Flights News

FastJet Set to Take Off

FastJet, the African low cost airline which has already been operational in East Africa for a few months, is set to launch its first South African flight on 18 October 2013. Coincidentally, this is the date on which FlySafair intended to launch their first flight, before being ordered by the High Court to remain grounded due to not being 75% South African owned.

FastJet’s first flight route will be between Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania, and the flight is set to take only two and a half hours, departing from Johannesburg at 09h15 and landing in Dar es Salaam at 11h45.

Once launched, flights on this route will take place three days per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. However, depending on demand, the airline intends to consider increasing the frequency of its flights on this route.

The introduction of a low cost airline for flights on this route will offer South Africans and Tanzanians an affordable means of flying between the two countries, as current airfares on other airlines are generally very expensive.

The now insolvent 1time Airline previously offered low cost flights from Johannesburg to Zanzibar, an island forming part of Tanzania which is off the Dar es Salaam costline. This was one of its more popular routes. It will be interesting to see whether FastJet decides, in due course, to offer flights to the popular island destination of Zanzibar.

Flysafair Tickets from Johannesburg to Cape Town

Flysafair is South Africa’s newest low cost airline. Flysafair tickets from Johannesburg to Cape Town went on sale this week on the flysafair.co.za website, with airfares starting from R800 for a one way flight.

Flysafair has historically been active in the aircraft leasing business, and has leased aircraft to a number of the prominent airlines in South Africa.

The airline recently decided to enter into the low cost domestic airline market on a commercial basis. However, the airline has not been welcomed by other carriers, and Comair has instituted legal proceedings against them on the basis that Comair believes that they do not meet the minimum South African ownership requirements that apply to local low cost airlines under South African law.

The legal proceedings appear to be an attempt to exclude competition from the market, which is currently dominated by Comair’s low cost subsidiary Kulula.com and SAA’s low cost subsidiary Mango Airlines.

Skywise Cheap Flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town

Skywise Airline, which will be launched shortly by the founders of 1time Airlines, has suggested that it will offer ticket prices for Skywise cheap flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town for around 25% less than its low cost airline competitors such as Kulula.com and Mango Airlines.

Cheap return flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town currently cost between R1800 and R2200, and a 25% reduction would place ticket costs for a return journey in the region of R1500 (i.e. around R750 each way).

Following the departure of 1time from the local low cost carrier market, the remaining no-frills airlines had less competition and were therefore able to charge higher prices, resulting in customers being required to pay more for their domestic flights.

The addition of Skywise to the range of options for South African local travellers will introduce competition which will ultimately benefit consumers, by forcing airlines to vie for business instead of comfortably enjoying the monopoly and putting pressure on passengers through high airfare costs.

PAK Africa Aviation 1Time Offer

A group of Pakistani investors, PAK Africa Aviation, have submitted a bid to R15 million to purchase insolvent airline 1Time.  The group is reportedly backed by an unnamed Pakistani company, and locally, a number of persons who were part of the core team running Velvet Sky Airline, which was liquidated last year, are involved in the bid. The PAK Africa Aviation 1Time offer appears likely to be accepted.

The group has successfully established business in various parts of Africa in sectors including retail, financial services and manufacturing.

1Time reportedly has in the region of R500 million in debt, but the aspect that makes it an attractive acquisition is the fact that it has the necessary licenses to operate in South Africa.

PAK Africa Aviation is reportedly planning to use 1Time to establish a route for flights from Johannesburg to Harare, in partnership with Central Air Transport Services, a Zimbabwean airline which itself has regional and domestic air rights.

The service is likely to operate in competition with Fastjet and Skywise, which intend on establishing flight routes in the region.

How to Book Fastjet Tickets in South Africa

With the launch of Fastjet, many South Africans are wondering how to book Fastjet tickets in South Africa. Tickets for Fastjet flights from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam went on sale last week, with the price set at around R1 000.00 excluding fees and taxes.

The tickets are for sale on the Fastjet.com website, which features an online booking system that accepts credit card payments.

Fastjet are also offering a 25% discount for all flights in September, making it even more compelling to book with them.

Flights between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg on other airlines are extremely expensive at the moment, and Fastjet offers travellers an affordable alternative to travel on this popular route.

Fastjet also operates flights to Zanzibar and Mwanza, originating at its current hub in Dar es Salaam.

Once the airline obtains the necessary regulatory approval in South Africa, it will also launch domestic flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town and from Johannesburg to Durban, bringing much needed competition to the small selection of no frills airline options on these routes.

 

Mango Airlines Becomes Environmentally Friendly

SAA’s low cost airline subsidiary Mango Airlines has announced plans to implement measures that will reduce its environmental impact and carbon footprint.

Measures include replacing the seating of all its aircraft with significantly lighter seats, which will reduce the overall weight of its planes and thus reduce their fuel consumption and environmental impact. This is set to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 2 million tonnes on 2014.

The airline has already reduced the weight of its planes by reducing the amount of water carried on flights, and also removing various unnecessary equipment such as unused ovens and water boilers.

In addition, when its planes are serviced, particular care is taken to ensure that they are as aerodynamic as possible, further reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

The airlines is also searching for other areas in which it can implement measures to reduce carbon emissions.

Aside from being environmentally friendly, the measures make sense from a business perspective, as they will result in significant cost savings due to lower fuel usage. With the high oil price, this is particularly important and will certainly make an impact on the airline’s profitability.

The Latest News about Kulula.com

Kulula Airlines, British Airways’ low cost subsidiary, has kept a relatively low profile of late, following complaints by SAA in March 2013 about the Kulula.com advertising campaign in which they claimed to “the most South African airways”.

SAA complained that this was clearly a reference to their airline, and as a result, Kulula.com changed all their adverts to use the word “airline” instead of “airways”, with the result being a tag-line which read “The most South African airline”.

SAA and Kulula.com are not direct competitors, given that SAA is a national and international carrier which does not operate in the low cost airline market, while Kulula.com is a no frills budget airline operating only locally and regionally. However, Mango, SAA’s low cost subsidiary, is a competitor of Kulula.com, and this may have prompted the complaints from SAA regarding the advertising campaign.

Kulula.com has become known to South Africans as a fun-loving, mischevious brand, with humourous advertising campaigns and in-flight jokes being the order of the day. In June 2013, the airline received the highest rating of any commercial airline in the South African customer satisfaction index – a clear indication that they are doing something right in the eyes of the South African public.