FlySafair, Mango celebrate market stability in volatile low-cost arena


Cape Town - Low cost carrier, FlySafair has sold its one millionth ticket, just four months after celebrating the 500 000-ticket milestone, the airline announced on Thursday, 19 November. 

The airline celebrated their one-year anniversary in August this year, when they sold tickets for only R1. 

READ: FlySafair: R1 sale set 'new domestic aviation record'

Mango, has also celebrated its ninth anniversary, as well as a milestone for carrying 15 million guests over more than 115 000 flights since first taking to the skies on 15 November 2006.

Both airlines said they feel confident about their businesses' futures, despite the volatile economy and competitive low cost market in SA. 

Strong competition in the South African low-cost carrier market over the past 12 months has driven down the cost of domestic travel – saving the flying public upwards of an estimated R614 million.

Although Nico Bezuidenhout, CEO of low cost carrier Mango says the saturated low-budget airline offering in South Africa skies might cause market volatility in the future, FlySafair says their low flight prices are based on "a rock-solid business strategy". 

Bezuidenhout says Mango's success is thanks to a consistent, on-time service at reliability. 

READ: SA low cost carrier ranked in top 3 most on-time airlines in the world

Lower fares, says FlySafair, can be maintained through innovation around the build of the service has also led to providing consumers with options that they previously did not have, like the choice to travel with luggage, select a seat, or opt for priority boarding.  

“We need to draw a distinction between a low-fare airline and a low-cost airline,” says Elmar Conradie, CEO of FlySafair. “Low costs will lead to low fares, so it’s important to focus on those costs by driving your economies through flying the correct aircraft, on an efficient schedule, with the correct financing structures in place,” he adds.

“It’s not just about competing, but creating a sustainable business model that facilitates years of consumer delight, which is typically associated with healthy competition,” Conradie says. 

Low cost carrier Skywise, on the contrary, experienced a difficult month in terms of customer service. After cancelling several flights and being grounded by Airports Company South Africa in October, many passengers were frustrated with airline's inconsistency. 

READ: Frustrated Skywise passengers left fuming

There are currently four budget airlines, namely Skywise, FlySafair, Mango and kulula.com serving South African skies. 

CHECK OUT: Everything you need to know about SA’s 4 Low-cost carriers

In September this year, kulula.com was awarded the title of Best African Low-cost Airline in the Business Traveller 2015 Africa Awards. The award followed them being announced South Africa’s top airline for business travellers in the 2015 Sunday Times Top Brands survey in August.


A photo posted by Bianca Naransamy (@binx836) on


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