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Thursday, April 18, 2024

FlySafair is spreading its wings to the rest of Africa

FlySafair airplane B737-800Photo : FlySafair

Recently updated on September 8th, 2023 at 05:32 pm

  • Low-cost airline FlySafair launched its first route outside of South Africa in March, with flights between Johannesburg and Mauritius.
  • FlySafair is looking for a foothold in the regional space.
  • The airline has applied for flights to Zanzibar, Maputo, Lusaka, Livingstone, Gaborone, Seychelles, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Nairobi, and Luanda.
  • It also wants to fly more frequently to Mauritius.

Low-cost carrier FlySafair is looking to expand beyond South Africa’s borders, with flights planned for 10 new destinations on the continent.

Since first taking to the skies eight years ago, FlySafair has focused all its energy on South Africa’s domestic market. During that time, South Africa’s turbulent aviation sector has undergone massive changes, none so serious as the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on travel.

While international carriers have been hardest hit by Covid-19, domestic carriers have suffered too, with passenger volumes still nowhere near levels recorded prior to the pandemic.

For airlines that entered the pandemic in an uneasy financial position, Covid-19 has proven to be the death knell. Comair, owner of Kulula and British Airways’ local routes, having operated in South Africa since 1946, recently applied for liquidation amid a severe cash crunch.

Others, though, have weathered the storm, exiting the post-lockdown starting blocks at pace, now with even more urgency to fill the capacity gap left by Comair’s exit.

FlySafair, although already holding the lion’s share of domestic seat capacity, according to data from the Centre for Aviation, has set its sights on the regional market. The low-cost carrier’s first journey beyond South Africa only launched in March, with twice-weekly flights from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport to the popular holiday destination of Mauritius.

Now, FlySafair wants to start flying to Zanzibar, Maputo, Lusaka, Livingstone, Gaborone, Seychelles, Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Nairobi, and Luanda. The airline also wants to fly more frequently to Mauritius, according to a recently published Government Gazette referring to applications with South Africa’s International Air Services Council.

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