Having received approval to operate, FlySafair has announced that will be flying to Gaborone and 10 new destinations within the Southern African region, following a meeting of the Air Services Licensing Council of South Africa (ASLC).
The Group of companies said that various bilateral agreements exist between South Africa and neighbouring countries which govern the number of weekly flights that can be operated by different airlines in these markets. In South Africa these frequencies are awarded to airlines by the ASLC which is part of the Department of Transport.
FlySafair is one of the few local airlines still in the air following the grounding of several airlines over the past several months. The low-budget airline welcomed another Boeing 737-800 to its fleet at the end of last month, making it 25 aircraft in total. The new aircraft will be the first painted in FlySafair’s new livery and entered service on 1 October 2022.
Earlier this year, the low-cost carrier applied for rights to operate connections to a number of new destinations throughout the Southern African region, as well as additional frequencies to the island of Mauritius which it already operates twice weekly, it said.
The ASLC has approved FlySafair’s application to operate flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg to Gaborone, Livingstone, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, and Victoria Falls. In addition, the airline has been approved for frequencies from Johannesburg to Bulawayo, Nairobi and the Seychelles, as well as between Cape Town and Windhoek.
However, the Group revealed that its application for routes between Johannesburg and Harare, Windhoek and Zanzibar and additional frequencies to Mauritius are still pending. “We’re very excited about these opportunities.We’ve been planning our expansion to more regional destinations for some time and are confident that we will continue to bring our same brand of hassle-free travel to passengers in these markets,” said Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair.
With the ASLC approvals in hand, FlySafair said it can now engage the relevant airport and civil aviation authorities in each market and begin planning its flight schedules.Gordon added, “While this is a big milestone, there is still a fair amount of work ahead of us from an operational perspective.”
The addition of these new routes to FlySafair’s network will offer welcome connectivity and increased capacity to regional destinations within Southern Africa, many of which have been constrained by the departures of previous route right holders. “By launching a host of new services, we hope to provide passengers with more options for air travel at a competitive price,” said Gordon.
Since the beginning of the year, FlySafair has added four new aircraft to its current schedule with one more on the way in January. While the new capacity forms part of the airline’s long-term growth plans, it’s expected that the additional seats will help to stabilise domestic flight prices going into the busy holiday season.
“The events over the last year have put a great deal of pressure on airlines and consumers, and we’re looking at how we can keep airfares low by adding seats on in-demand routes, especially in the run up to the December season. Scheduling routes and frequencies, deploying aircraft and crew and managing resources are all part of a balancing act that determines operational success for airlines,” concluded Gordon.