The airline company has applied for rights to fly between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Mauritius, Windhoek, and Zanzibar. They hope to be able to secure three weekly flights for all of these destinations and will know by October whether their applications have been approved.
Kirby Gordon, FlySafair’s Chief Marketing Officer, says the three new routes have been in the pipeline for a while, but now with the airline industry on its knees and FlySafair operating at a fraction of its previous capacity, new opportunities are urgently needed.
“During August, FlySafair operated at about 14% of its August 2019 seat capacity and we continue to suffer losses while so few of our aircraft are in the air. We urgently need to find new opportunities to deploy aircraft and, at a time when so many regional competitors are operating under conditions of business rescue, this may be a good time to expand our route network in this direction,” said Gordon.
If the routes are approved by the Department of Transport’s International Air Services Council, the airline would have a lot of work to do to get ready for international travel. Aircraft would have to be re-equipped for long-haul flights, a presence would have to be established in the various international departure halls, and the technology for processing international passport and visa information would have to be updated.
Gordon says the launch of the new routes would not only depend on the approval by the Department of Transport’s International Air Services Council, but also the recovery of the domestic market. He said the company would only be in a position to look at launching the new routes in 2021 at the earliest.
Already dreaming of visiting Mauritius, Windhoek, and Zanzibar? At this stage, you’ll need to settle for an armchair trip to one of these destinations in order to whet your appetite as you begin planning your holiday.