Kulula and British Airway flights

A Kulula plane sits on the tarmac. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Financial baggage: Kulula ends free checked bags for base fares

Passengers who buy low-cost carrier Kulula’s cheapest tickets will have to cough up for checked baggage from 1 September.

Kulula and British Airway flights

A Kulula plane sits on the tarmac. Image via Wikimedia Commons

The aviation sector has been dealt a massive blow by the pandemic and the constraints put in place to reduce the spread of infections. Airlines across the globe have been burning up cash for months while they have had their wings clipped by flight and travel bans.

Not all airlines have fared as well as independently owned FlySafair, Cemair, and Airlink – which earlier this year was named Africa’s second-largest carrier behind Ethiopian Airlines, according to the number of seats offered by African airlines.

Comair’s local franchise of British Airways and its budget carrier Kulula both halted all flights for the months of July and August, due to revised lockdown measures which led to a slump in demand for domestic air travel.  


When Kulula returns to the skies next month it will be with a difference. Passengers who purchase the airline’s cheapest fares will now have to fork out for the privilege of carrying a bag in the hold.

This brings Kulula’s cheapest ticket options in line with those offered by other local carriers including FlySafair and Lift Airlines, which exclude checked baggage.


According to TravelNews, Kulula has introduced new fare offerings for its flights. The specially branded fares are designed to cater to different passenger needs.


The airline describes this as the most basic option without the bells and whistles and with 7kg carry-on hand luggage only. No checked bags included. Kulula’s cheapest fare, which offers flexibility only at a fee, and a fare difference may also apply when making changes.


The airline says this is the best ‘all-rounder’ fare. It includes one piece (20kg) of checked luggage as standard. This fare bundle also offers a little space to manoeuvre in case travel plans change with two free changes. But a fare difference may apply when making changes. Hand luggage of 7kg is allowed.


This bundle has built-in flexibility for unexpected last-minute changes to travel plans, offering free, unlimited changes – however, a fare difference may apply when making changes. Q-Jump is a standard feature (a priority boarding and priority bag-offloading service, normally R40 per ticket). Each traveller gets two checked bags of 20kg each, plus hand luggage of 7kg.


The airline says it is giving customers more choice and added flexibility with these new fare options, that come with different inclusions. Kulula’s newly branded fares are displayed on its website and are applicable to flights purchased for travel after 1 September.