South Africa’s FlySafair holds 60% of domestic seats amid expansion: report

FlySafair Media

South Africa-based airline FlySafair is set to ramp up its regional operations after receiving approval to operate three new regional routes.  

The International Air Services Council (IASC), a government body responsible for the licensing and control of domestic air services and international air services in South Africa, awarded FlySafair rights to operate flights to Windhoek, Harare and Zanzibar, according to Independent Online (IOL).  

The airline was also granted five additional frequencies on its recently launched regional route to Mauritius, the report continued.  

Kirby Gordon, FlySafair’s chief marketing officer said: “We’ve already begun laying the groundwork in several of our target countries and are in discussions with various parties, including civil aviation authorities, to get these new routes up and running as soon as possible.”  

FlySafair looks to operate daily flights to Windhoek and Harare from Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively, IOL added.  

FlySafair holds 60% of South Africa’s domestic market  

According to a News24 article published on the same day, FlySafair now operates up to 60% of South Africa’s domestic seat capacity compared to 25% pre-pandemic and the carrier expects to add three additional aircraft to its fleet to operate on its new regional routes.  

The airline aims to operate to Windhoek and Harare from Q3 2023, while its operations to Zanzibar are expected to start by Q2 2023, News 24 added.  

Prior to the liquidation of Comair in June 2022, the airline, combined with British Airways and flights, was estimated to have held 40% of South Africa’s domestic seat capacity. Since Comair’s collapse FlySafair has ramped up its operations and increased its fleet capacity.    

The day after Comair’s liquidation, Airline Weekly published a report citing Cirium schedule data estimating that Comair operated around 32% of South Africa’s domestic seats, while FlySafair operated 42%, Airlink 16%, and South African Airways and Cemair a combined 7%.     

However, FlySafair is not the only South African airline increasing its capacity, as Airlink, Cemair and LIFT have all added or intend to add new aircraft to their fleets to meet demand.   

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