Ricochet News

FlySafair officially takes to the skies at PE Airport

By Tai Chishakwe - Oct 2, 2014
FlySafair officially takes to the skies at PE Airport

FlySafair, which touts itself as South Africa's true low cost airline, will officially make its maiden Port Elizabeth flight on 9 October at an event being held at the Port Elizabeth International Airport. 

FlySafair is the very latest cheap airline to successfully get off the runway, despite a false start and a barrage of legal obstacles they faced during the course of 2013.

According to its website, the airline uses a modern, fuel efficient fleet and the airline hopes to offer South African air travellers super affordable rates on a sustainable basis. The airline is operated by Safair Operations, a well established South African aviation company, and will operate scheduled flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth in mid-October upon the completion of the launch events.

FlySafair's entry into the low cost airline market is significant; over the course of the past two years, competitors such as Skywise, 1time and Fastjet could not successfully navigate the regulatory and ownership requirements – not to mention overcome challenges brought by existing players such as Comair and Mango Airlines. 

The airline is positioning themselves as a "high value" airline, rather than a low cost carrier. While the airline brand is new, its parent company, Safair, is one of the country's most prominent airline logistics and specialised air services providers.

Over the past half a century, the company has been transporting freight, medical supplies and food relief to inaccessible locations in Africa and further afield on behalf of clients such as the UN World Food Programme and similar international aid organisations.

FlySafair operates a fleet of Boeing 737-400s, a super safe and reliable aircraft capable of carrying up to 165 passengers per craft.

The airline will be operating an initial 6 flights per day between Cape Town and Johannesburg, ramping up to 10 flights per day over time. It looks like it will also be flying between Cape Town and George.

The airline is 75% owned by SA business interests and via an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), with the remaining 25% owned by private Irish aviation interests. The airlines SA employees own an effective 25.14% stake in the company.

FlySafair rates and launch specials

Ticket sales have launched and can be booked online at www.FlySafair.co.za. Upon launch, the airline is offering one-way fares between Cape Town and Johannesburg for only R499, and from only R399 one-way between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Presently, FlySafair tickets can only be booked directly via the airline's official website or their call centre, or via their ticket sales counters at OR Tambo, Cape Town and PE International Airports. To book your FlySafair flights, call 087 135 1351, or visit www.flysafair.co.za. The airline accepts most credit cards, and you can also pay via EFT.

Passengers will also be able to book a rental car via the airline's official site, www.flysafair.co.za.