The air travel market in South Africa is fast increasing with four domestic low cost airlines offering cheap flights in South Africa. These airlines offer limited destinations and routes throughout the country with only the national carrier South African Airways servicing all of the destinations.
The three major international airports, namely Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Durban International Airport are considered the gateway for international flights into South Africa as well as the most regular scheduled domestic flights within the country and are serviced by all of the budget airlines offering cheap flights, namely Kulula.com, Mango Airlines, 1Time Airlines and Velvet Sky Aviation. These three airports offer regular scheduled flights daily between the three destinations as well as operate as the base from which flights to smaller destinations are scheduled. Due to the popularity of the routes between these three airports, the four domestic low cost airlines offer a number of daily flights to and from them.
There are a number of smaller airports across the country to which some of the budget airlines fly to from the major centres, offering the traveller cheap flights across South Africa. Velvet Sky, the newcomer to the industry, is the only one not to offer flights to the smaller destinations and only offers flights between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and Durban’s King Shaka International Airports.
Kulula.com services routes to a selection of the smaller airports including George Airport, Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg International Airport, Lanseria Airport and are the only airline to service the route to Kruger National Park Airport. It does not offer flights to Bloemfontein Airport or East London Airport. 1 Time Airlines services the smaller destinations such as George Airport and East London from Johannesburg International and Cape Town International as well as flights between Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg International and Cape Town International. 1time Airlines does not offer flights to Bloemfontein. Mango Airlines operate only services to the smaller airports in Bloemfontein and Lanseria and does not service routes to Port Elizabeth, East London or George Airport.
The smallest of the airports such as Hoedspruit, Mthatha, Palaborwa, Polokwane, Richards Bay, Pilanesberg, Upington and Kimberley Airport are not serviced by any of the low cost carriers offering cheap flights in South Africa. These airports are only serviced by the national carrier South African Airways and its subsidiaries SAA Express and SA Airlink.
Passengers wishing to fly to the smaller destination airports throughout South Africa will need to ensure their preferred travel dates coincide with the schedules of the airlines which service these airports as flights are scheduled intermittently depending on demand and are not available on a daily basis.
The flight times to these destinations are also generally scheduled as early morning or evening to accommodate business travellers and will need to be taken into consideration when arranging connecting flights.