FlySafair New routes between Durban – PE – EL


Those who ever doubted the staying power of smaller start-up airlines have recently been silenced with FlySafair New Routes introductions. The ever popular FlySafair is connecting KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape in a way that’s affordable for all!

The new routes, which are to be fully operational by November 2017 now allow for budget flyers to travel between Durban and East London and Durban and Port Elizabeth. These popular routes have been unserviced by low cost carriers for quite some time and making the new routing somewhat of a noteworthy endeavour by FlySafair!

While the airline and travel industry is abuzz over the news, FlySafair has been hard at work advertising their new route launch, the first flight of which will depart on the 27th of November 2017. Tickets are already on sale and you can get your Durban – East London or Durban – Port Elizabeth ticket with online ease at Domestic Flights.


Why FlySafair Chose These Routes

FlySafair took the time to do their research before launching the new Durban to East London and Durban to Port Elizabeth routes. Public demand plays an important role when it comes to determining new travel routes and so the airline conducted a survey which required feedback on potential routes. The routes they considered were as follows (including the survey results):

  • Cape Town – Nelspruit (54% of the votes)
  • Durban – East London (15% of the votes)
  • Durban – Port Elizabeth (12% of the votes)
  • Lanseria – Port Elizabeth (6% of the votes)
    Durban – George (6% of the votes)
  • Cape Town – Bloemfontein (4% of the votes)
  • Lanseria – Bloemfontein (2% of the votes)


What’s surprising is that the Cape Town – Nelspruit route won the votes with a whopping 54%! Yet the airline has chosen to launch new routes that came in second and third place in terms of the survey votes.


Flysafair New Routes

FlySafair Specials


Aware that the public would want to know the reasoning behind this Kirby Gordon, Head of Sales and Distribution for FlySafair, explained the decision. While public appetite certainly showed where the demand was / is, the routes still needed to be realistic in terms of available aircraft, time slots and of course the availability of crew members. In short, presenting second and third place routes meant new routes, but also the best possible safety and quality of service to passengers. Which is what’s really important to the airline.

Kirby Gordon further advised on the 3 key factors that affected the airline’s final decision which were:


  1. Demand and Capacity

In order for FlySafair to operate a financially viable flight, their aircraft needs to be filled to capacity for each flight. As the airline flies Boeing 737-800s and 737-400s, each flight caters to either 189 or 165 passengers.

At a minimum, each flight must sell 140 seats to make it a viable route. According to their survey, the KZN – Eastern Cape routes could better do this than the number 1 option, Nelspruit.

  1. Keeping Costs Low & Not Overworking the Crew

Any low cost airline needs to stay profitable without compromising on safety and without overpricing tickets. The objective of FlySafair is to ensure that the introduced routes would not put crew members in a bad position by over extending their flying hours. Crew members must sleep in their own beds and air fares must remain true to the nature of low cost carriers and actually be “low cost”.

The KZN – Eastern Cape chosen routes allow for the airline to maximise on the flying hours available for both the crew and aircraft, while the air fares remain at a highly affordable rate for all passengers.

  1. Availability of Take-Off & Landing Spots

Take-off and landing procedure needs to be scheduled with the respective airports which means that certain time slots are often in high demand. The competition can be rife between airlines. O.R. Tambo International Airport handles almost 20 million passengers each year, and more than 100 000 aircraft movements. That’s around 50 flights in and our per hour. With such highly scheduled slots on popular routes, it made better sense to introduce flights to the KZN – Eastern Cape routes.

This doesn’t mean that Nelspruit – Cape Town routes won’t come to fruition. It just means more time and planning is required before they are included in FlySafair’s routing.

All eyes are on FlySafair and the imminent introduction of their KZN – Eastern Cape routes. If you’re looking to book flights with FlySafair between Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, use our flight search feature to find the cheapest flight fares. Find cheap domestic flights with Domestic Flights today.