FlySafair and other Airlines in SA Pickup on SAA Flight Reductions

With SAA’s turnaround plan ready and set to take effect from the 29th of October 2017, there has been a certain amount of stress experienced by loyal customers of the airline. SAA, which is attempting to better its unstable financial predicament will be cancelling flights on certain local and international routes in order to cull costs, while airlines such as FlySafair have stepped in to pick up the void.

The SAA corporate 5-year turnaround plan will be implemented under the care of the new CEO, Vuyani Jarana, who is employed on a 5-year contract and will take up his position as of the start of November 2017.

The area most affected by the 5-year turnaround plan in South Africa will be the Eastern Cape, where SAA has reduced flights between Johannesburg – Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg – East London. The airline currently offers 17 daily return flights between Cape Town and Johannesburg and plans to cut back on these too.

Passengers have been worried where they will find cheap domestic flights or even cheap flights into central Africa, but alternative low cost carriers in the country are stepping up to the plate.

Other African Routes Affected By SAA’s Flight Cuts

Other routes that are affected by SAA’s turnaround plan include flights to Brazzaville via Pointe Noire (Congo), Douala (Cameroon) via Libreville (Gabon), Kinshasa (DRC), Entebbe (Uganda) Luanda (Angola) and Cotonou (Benin) via Libreville (Gabon). In relation to this, Tlali Tlali, SAA spokesperson said that “demand in Central Africa has remained at levels similar to last year due to slow economic growth in the region. Our intention therefore is to maintain our presence in these markets, and we have initiated discussions with our partners on the best option to serve these markets”.

What Does This Mean For Already Ticketed Passengers?

Passengers who have already purchased tickets on these routes will have no reason to worry. The airline has assured all of its passengers and made public statements that those tickets will be honoured, albeit via partner airline services. All of these arrangements should be completed before the 17th of October.

Who’s Going To Pick Up The Slack?

All eyes have been on low cost domestic flight carriers in South Africa (such as Kulula and FlySafair) in the country to see who is going to fill the void in the market. One of the country’s most trusted low cost carriers, FlySafair was not prepared to see travellers stranded and increased its flight scheduling accordingly. Kirby Gordon, head of sales and distribution for FlySafair , stated that the airline will be increasing flights between Johannesburg and both Eastern Cape cities of East London and Port Elizabeth.

While the airline already offers 5 flights per week on the Johannesburg – East London route, they have recently increased their offering to 7 flights per week. Together with the Johannesburg – Port Elizabeth route, the flights have been upped from 6 flights a week to 8 flights per week. These routes will offer even more flights per week during the December festive season with more flight options and prices that remain extremely competitive.

FlySafair is a low cost carrier that started operations in South Africa in October 2014 as a commercial passenger airline. The company however has over 50 years of experience in the aviation industry, with considerable expertise in cargo handling and aircraft leasing. The airline has achieved full IOSA safety accreditation and a Level 4 BBBEE contributor.

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