Price war a result of airline feud

FLIGHT FIGHT: Gidon Novick, chief executive of kulula.com, thinks Mango will go 'vrot'. © Unknown.
FLIGHT FIGHT: Gidon Novick, chief executive of kulula.com, thinks Mango will go 'vrot'. © Unknown.

Karin Johansson

Karin Johansson

A price war has erupted between South Africa's low-cost airlines, with private air carrier kulula.com announcing yesterday that it will undercut the fares of South African Airways' newly-launched low-cost airline Mango.

"kulula.com's fares on its eight domestic routes will now start at only R168, all inclusive," the airline said.

That's one rand cheaper than what Mango is offering.

Mango's newly-appointed chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout said the airline had already registered 11000 confirmed reservations only hours after it opened.

He said the unprecedented wave of enthusiasm among consumers showed "that the market is hungry for a priced-right airline such as Mango".

The response has been so overwhelming that the Mango website has not been able to cope with the traffic and crashed several times yesterday.

The call centre number has also been consistently engaged.

Bezuidenhout said the airline was expecting to operate 28 flights a day once its full schedule was on the go and would look at regional routes in the future, if consumer demand existed on those routes, but it would depend on market forces at the time.

The airline will initially fly the Johannesburg to Durban and Johannesburg to Cape Town routes only, but it intends to add the Durban to Bloemfontein and Bloemfontein to Cape Town routes in December.

After Mango's launch announcement on Monday, kulula.com chief executive Gidon Novick attacked the new airline, saying it would not be sustainable, as it was possible to charge Mango's less than R200 fares "only if you are being heavily subsidised and have no motive to make a profit". - With I-Net Bridge

X