20 October 2022, Johannesburg – Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair, predicts that local flight prices will drop to more familiar levels by February 2023. This after a period where volatility and constraint in the supply of airline seats has led to a temporary increase in the average cost of a flight ticket.
“We expect that airfares will really normalise in late January to early February,” says Gordon. “This will be a product of a natural lull in seasonal demand and, more significantly, an increase in the number of seats available in the market.”
FlySafair has committed to adding at least six additional Boeing 737-800 aircraft to their present fleet of 25 aircraft by the end of April next year. The introduction of the new aircraft is expected to help reduce ticket prices and alleviate the shortage of seats currently being experienced on various domestic routes.
“While we have been doing everything, we can to add capacity, it’s not something we can roll out at the drop of a hat. It takes a huge amount of planning to bring in a new aircraft. Everything from staffing resources to route scheduling is taken into consideration so as to ensure the best levels of efficiency across our network and ultimately the long-term sustainability of the airline.”
According to Gordon, FlySafair operated over 5 450 flights last summer holiday between 1 December and 31 January. This works out to just under a million seats. This coming summer, the airline has increased this to 7 652 flights and about 1.4 million seats – a 141% jump from the same period the year before.
“We’ve added a lot of capacity this year. To grow this fast has been a challenge, but the market still needs the additional capacity, so we’ve committed to upping the pace of expansion.”
FlySafair has grown their staff complement by just over 18% in 2022, saving a great number of people within the industry from unemployment due to the downscaling and closure of several other airlines. With the additional aircraft slated for next year, FlySafair is in the process of recruiting new staff to support this additional capacity, including not only pilots and cabin crew, but staff within the airline’s ground operations including call centre, administration, maintenance, and day-to-day operations.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without our dedicated staff around the country. It’s through their commitment that we are able to continue to grow and build more opportunities for others in the airline industry and take our business to new heights.”