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Local low cost carrier launches new routes

A FlySafair Boeing 737

A FlySafair Boeing 737

Photo by FlySafair

2nd June 2017

By: Keith Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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South African low cost carrier FlySafair announced on Friday that it was launching new routes on its network. These will be between Durban and East London and Durban and Port Elizabeth. The new routes will be in operation by the end of November.

The decision to implement these routes followed a survey of 29 000 unique respondents. This survey was carried out to determine which, out of a number of proposed alternative routes, the public most desired.

The routes offered included the above mentioned two, as well as Cape Town-Bloemfontein, Cape Town-Nelspruit, Durban-George, Lanseria-Bloemfontein and Lanseria-Cape Town. The most popular of the proposed routes, supported by 54% of those surveyed, was, in fact, Cape Town-Nelspruit. The two routes chosen for implementation came second (Durban-East London, 15%) and third (Durban-Port Elizabeth, 12%).

“Public appetite for a new route is naturally a massive consideration when launching new routes,” said FlySafair Distribution and Sales head Kirby Gordon. “But there are some other important factors that have to fall into place, including utilisation of aircraft and crew and [airport landing and take-off] slot compliance.”

There are, he pointed out, three crucial elements that airlines examine when deciding on new routes. These are: the relationship between passenger demand and the seating capacity of their airliners (too few passengers per flight make a route uneconomical); efficiency (essential for low cost operators – maximising the available flying hours for both aircraft and aircrew while ensuring that, at the end of the flying day, the latter sleep in their own beds); and the availability of airport take-off and landing slots.

“Looking at all these factors, the Durban to East London and Durban to Port Elizabeth links are the ones that made the most business sense,” he affirmed. “The interest in the Cape-Town-Nelspruit route is very encouraging and we’ll certainly keep looking into it too.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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