As South Africa’s youngest airline, not much has been expected of FlySafair in terms of growth and sustainability. But surprisingly, since its inception, the airline has continued to grow in huge leaps and bounds. At yadley.com, one thing we love about FlySafair is that even though the airline currently holds the biggest flight network in South Africa, they are always aiming for higher ground.
Just recently, FlySafair announced that they will be launching new routes between Durban’s King Shaka Airport and East London as well as Durban and Port Elizabeth. The first flights are scheduled to depart on November 27, 2017.
The launch proves without a doubt that the airline has a good ability to meet public appetite for a number of route options. When choosing to launch a new route, airlines look at three key factors and FlySafair seem to have mastered these three areas quite well:
Keeping the costs low, as the name suggests, is definitely the key to running a low-cost airline. One of the most critical factors in achieving this is to maximize the available flying hours of both the aircraft and the crew. As such it is necessary to determine the right movement patterns that allow for maximum flying while ensuring that crew sleep in their own beds.
- Demand to Capacity Fit
FlySafair operates Boeing 737-400 and 737-800 aircraft which have either 165 or 189 seats. In order for a route to be economically viable, the airline needs to operate its flights at full capacity, most of the time. What this means is that there needs to be a minimum of about 140 people willing to fly on each flight offered. If there are less than that number of people, the route is better served by an airline that operates smaller aircraft.
3. Take-off and Landing slots
OR Tambo International Airport processes up to 50 take-offs and landings every hour – that’s a movement every minute and 12 seconds.
These slots are all scheduled very carefully and competition for the slots between airlines can be intense as everyone needs specific slots to match their utilization patterns. Sometimes, there has to be a compromise somewhere along the line.
Looking at all these factors, it seems that the Durban to East London and Durban to Port Elizabeth links are the ones that will make the most business sense for FlySafair. We wish the airline well in its growth plans and we will always choose FlySafair as our preferred choice of air travel in South Africa.
We wish the airline well in its growth plans and we will always choose FlySafair as our preferred choice of air travel in South Africa.