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POLL | Would you pay R3,000 for a domestic trip on FlySafair?

Kyle Zeeman Digital Editor
The cost of flights on FlySafair have shot up to more than R3,000 one-way.
The cost of flights on FlySafair have shot up to more than R3,000 one-way.
Image: SA Civil Aviation Authority

Travellers trying to book air tickets this week were shocked to find that some flights to local destinations were priced at more than R3,000 one way.

The surge came as Comair, which operates Kulula.com and British Airways in SA, was grounded. 

The SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) suspended the company's air operator certificate (AOC) indefinitely after it failed to convince the authority that its risk and safety management systems are up to scratch. This after a number of safety incidents on recent flights.

The authority said the suspension would remain until safety concerns flagged had been addressed.

Demand for seats on other airlines was expected to surge, with FlySafair's website showing some fares for flights this week ranging from R3,000 to R3,281. The cheapest fare is R1,532.

Many took to social media to slam the airline, claiming they were “gorging” themselves on the desperation of travellers. 

Some vowed not to travel on the airline until its prices went down, while others said they would do so for business purposes or to see their family.

Responding to criticism of the fares, which are as much as three to four times higher than its special fares on certain routes, FlySafair said tickets get more expensive the closer it gets to the departure time.

“FlySafair uses a system called ‘demand based pricing.’ What this means is that the first seats on a flight sell at the lowest price, usually at a loss to the airline. As the seats start to sell out, they become incrementally more expensive,” said the airline. 

“What you’ll find is that prices rise quickly on popular flights, like those around holiday times. Flights also tend to get pricier the closer it is to their departure time because usually they’ll be closer to sold out at that time. The best way to get the lowest fare is to book in advance to ensure that you get those first cheap seats.”

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