South African travellers are feeling the pinch as the price of local air travel continues to rise.
Local comedian Siv Ngesi and journalist Ciro De Siena recently took to Twitter to complain about the price of a round trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg and back and the availability of seats on flights.
This is mad. @FlySafair does not have a single seat available, from CPT – OR Tambo, from tomorrow until Saturday.
Completely sold out, and sold out to Lanseria too. Cheapest seat on Saturday is over R3000 one way pic.twitter.com/CDFnWdd71Z
— Ciro De Siena (@CiroDeSiena) September 26, 2022
According to Ngesi, he paid R7 200 for the return trip ticket.
De Siena shared that he was unable to find seats on FlySafair for the same route and the cheapest one-way ticket cost over R3 000.
Bought a round trip ticket for R7200 (Cape Town to Johannesburg!) This can’t be our new normal SA!😢
— Siv Ngesi (@iamSivN) September 26, 2022
FlySafair currently has a monopoly over the low-cost domestic travel market after Comair’s Kulula and South African Airway’s Mango halted operations in the country because of financial constraints.
Lift recently announced that it had launched a Durban to Johannesburg route, an addition to its existing routes between Cape Town and Johannesburg.
A search on the airline’s website revealed that most tickets for weekend flights from Cape Town to OR Tambo airport were sold out.
A Twitter user commented on Ngesi’s update by tagging FlySafair and asking the airline “what happened to your pricing” as it started out as a low-cost carrier but was “now the MOST expensive airline in South Africa”.
Hey @FlySafair what has happened to your pricing? You are now the MOST expensive airline in South Africa. You started as a low cost airline!!!
— Paula (@Paulan5) September 27, 2022
FlySafair responded that, like other airlines around the world, it used a system called “demand-based pricing”, which means that as the seats start to sell out, they become incrementally more expensive.
Hi Paula, FlySafair, like other airlines around the world, uses a system called "demand-based pricing". Meaning as the seats start to sell out, they become incrementally more expensive. Kindly see link for our low fare finder https://t.co/Cl7CxBDG4c -TS
— FlySafair (@FlySafair) September 27, 2022
For those who can’t afford to travel by plane, the average cost of a bus ticket is R650 for an 18-hour trip on the road.
You could also take a long-distance taxi or drive yourself.
Read the latest issue of IOL Travel digital magazine here.