The Competition Commission has called on major airlines in South Africa to help bring capacity into the market following a decision by Comair to suspend all British Airways and kulula.com flights, with immediate effect on May 31.
Comair’s decision to suspend the flights will significantly reduce capacity in domestic air travel and reduce competition.
Concerned about the impact of Comair’s decision on air ticket prices and to understand how capacity could be brought to the market to mitigate the impact, the commission met separately with the leadership of airlines Lyft, FlySafair, Airlink and South African Airways this week.
In its meetings with the airlines, the commission specifically sought to prevent any possible price gouging emanating from the supply shock.
The commission reports that the airlines involved responded positively, acknowledging the need to bring more capacity into the market and committed not to change their pricing methodologies to exploit the situation.
All parties further acknowledged the challenges posed by the rising fuel prices, which are likely to contribute to increases in the cost of air travel.
Going forward, the commission states, it will continue to monitor the unfolding situation.