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In-flight food and drinks prices: Salted Peanuts - R5 / Crispy Chips - R10 / Chocolates - R15 / Sweets - R15 / Spicy Biltong - R30 / Tea, Coffee and Hot Chocolate - R15 / Cold Drinks - R15 / Fruit Juice and Water - R15 / Beer and Cuders - R20 / Alcoholic Coolers - Red Square - R25 / Energy Drink - Red Square Reloaded - R25 / Wine - R25 (Last updated in 2017, please consult FlySafair for the latest prices).
FlySafair flights are rated 4.7/5 based on 10 customer reviews
FlySafair has recently been recognised as the most on-time airline for 2018! They scored an average of 94% for their on-time performance over the last twelve months. Their spectacular track-record for being on-time is one of the airline's most attactive characteristics.
The airline recently celebrated their 1 millionth flight ticket sold in 2016 and continue to have a kick-ass on-time record! They are always looking toward ways to make travel more convenient for their passengesr.
FlySafair is planning to be South Africa's first true low cost carrier. The airline is owned by Safair Operations (Pty) Limited, which has over 50 years of experience in the Aviation industry. This also makes them the oldest new airline! They started out with Cape Town- Johannesburg flights and quickly followed it with Cape Town - Port Elizabeth and Cape Town - George flights. Since then they have added a number of domestic routes to their network.
In the typical fashion of a low cost carrier, meals and drinks will be up for sale during the flight (cash only), and there'll be no business class section. The airline plans to differentiate itself from other low cost airlines in South Africa by providing lower airfares, better service and more on time performance.
Want to know more about FlySafair? Check out our awesome FlySafair infographic summarizing everything you want to know about the low cost carrier!
7 June 2019: FlySafair is once again speeding up the check-in process with their latest innovation, check-in rangers! These check-in rangers will help those standing in line by printing out boarding passes and tagging bags so that passengers can leave their bags at the bag-drop desk and proceed to the check-in gates. Look out for these rangers in their pink stetsons and their badges.
13 March 2019: FlySafair has introduced the option to send your electronic boarding pass to your phone through Whatsapp. After passengers have completed the online check-in process they can now choose to either print, download, email or WhatsApp their boarding pass.
24 January 2019: FlySafair was recognised by ACSA as the most on-time airline for 2018, scoring an average of 94%. "On-time performance is indisputably the most important factor when it comes to an airline's customer satisfaction rating, with a correlation between these scores judged to be over 63%," said FlySafair's head of sales Kirby Gordon. "FlySafair has shown that being affordable does not mean you have to sacrifice good customer service," he followed.
13 December 2018: FlySafair has signed an interline agreement with KLM/ Air France which will allow passengers to book international flights on KLM/Air France with a connecting domestic flight on FlySafair. This came into effect on the 11th of December 2018. This allows passengers to travel with ease, no longer having to take financial responsibility for missed connections due to delayed flights and allowing their baggage to be checked straight through. It provides a seamless connection.
12 September 2018: FlySafair is introducing new technology called Express Check-in which could help speed up the check-in process for passengers travelling with only hand-luggage. The technology allows FlySafair to employ queue combers who will check-in passengers before they reach the check-in counters, thus reducing queing times. Passengers simply need to provide their reference number, surname or date of birth for designated queue combers to issue them a boarding pass from a portable device. This has already been implemented at all airports that FlySAfair flies from.
28 March 2018: FlySafair just acquired two new aircraft! The addition of these Boeing 737s will increase the airline's capacity by 25 000 seats per month from late April. These aircraft will be deployed on the Johannesburg - Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg - East London, Johannesburg - Cape Town and Johannesburg - Durban routes.
7 December 2017: FlySafair has recently taken home the award for the best low cost carrier in South Africa from Acsa's Feather Awards. This is the airline's second year in a row leaving with this prize. FlySafair's Head of Sales & Distribution, Kirby Gorden said that this made the airline work even harder to sustain that level of service. “When we took home the Award for Best Low Cost Carrier in 2016, we knew we could not afford to become complacent in our ongoing pursuit of excellence. Winning this award for the second year in a row is really a testament to the unwavering focus of the entire FlySafair team,” he said. FlySafair offers flights connecting some of the most popular cities in South Africa at low costs without sacrificing on service. They have been the most on-time airline since their launch and continues to add more routes to their ever-growing network.
27 November 2017: The proposed merger between Airlink and Safair that could see Safair become part of the Airlink group of companies will not result in any changes to either of the airlines' products, aircraft fleets or any of their employees. More details will emerge when the Competition Commission makes a decision, which is expected in the first quarter of 2018.
15 September 2017: FlySafair announced today that they are once again increasing flights for the festive season, in stark contrast to SAA who recently announced a reduction in festive season flights. They will operate daily flights between HLA-GRJ and JNB-ELS and will add flights to their JNB-GRJ, JNB-CPT, JNB-PLZ, CPT-ELS, CPT-PLZ and CPT-DUR routes. Marketing specialist Natasha Kotze added that not only are they again increasing flights, but they are actually increasing the flights to 1600 for the month of December in comparison to last year's 1404 flights.
6 June 2017: FlySafair has finally announced their new routes! Despite Neslpruit - Cape Town taking the top honours, the airline has decided to award us with flights between Durban and Port Elizabeth and Durban and East London. These flights are available for booking now from R729* on SA.TO and is only for travel from the 27th of November 2017. Just in time for the December summer holidays! Get the full schedule and details here.
5 May 2017: Vote for FlySafair's new routes! The low cost airline has handed over the choice of which routes they should launch next to their fans. You can choose between Durban - East London, Durban - Port Elizabeth, Durban - George, Cape Town - Bloemfontein, Cape Town - Nelspruit, Lanseria - Bloemfontein or Lanseria - Port Elizabeth on their website. Kirby Gordan has said that the airline plans on launching between one and three new routes, depending on the feedback. The airline will announce the results on their Facebook page on the 22nd of May 2017. So better get voting!
20 March 2017: FlySafair is now available on the GDS, allowing international travellers to also make use of the low cost carrier. The biggest strubling block however is that flights aren't as affordable as when booking directly with the airline or through our booking engine on the left. These flights include checked baggage, priority boarding and two changes without penalties, but it comes at a cost of almost double the usual flight price.
11 November 2016: FlySafair announced that they are increasing flights this festive season on their Joburg - Cape Town and Joburg - Durban routes. They are adding one additional flights each weekday on all four routes. The airline has also added that they will keep evaluating the situation and add additional flights as needed.
20 September 2016: FlySafair announced today that they signed a contract with Amadeus and Travelport, which means traditional travel agents will soon be able to book flights on the low cost carrier. This is another move that will make FlySafair more appealable to business travellers. No news on a contract with Galileo yet. The airline hopes that they will go live on Amadeus in November 2016.
2 August 2016: FlySafair's first flight between Lanseria and Cape Town took off yesterday without a glitch. The plane received a water canon salute upon arrival in Cape Town. The airline also discussed the possibility of launching flights between Lanseria and Durban and between Durban and East London. Whilst this isn't officially on the agenda yet, at least they are considering it.
28 June 2016: FlySafair has warned passengers of possible delays today as their third-party groundhandling staff are embarking on a strike today. FlySafair has ensured passengers that they have implemented a contingency plan and that they don't anticipate any delays, but have provided for them. Passengers are encouraged to arrive early for check-in and to keep an eye on their phones for sms communication from the airline. Passengers should also use self-service check-in counters where possible.
29 March 2016: FlySafair has once again made headlines for the wrong reasons, this time passengers had a shaky take-off and a delayed landing due to a damaged tyre. According to FlySafair's Facebook page the aircraft's wheel sustained damage during take-off at Cape Town International Airport, possibly due to something on the tarmac. The aircraft then circled the airport for approximately 30 minutes before attempting a second landing at OR Tambo. Understandably this would have been a scary experience for passengers, made worse by a lack of communication from cabin crew during the waiting period.
26 February 2016: FlySafair made waves yesterday as their CEO Elmar Conradie was quoted as saying: "We would, however, buy Mango; although obviously it would need to be at the right price." This follows an enquiry as to whether they would be interested in aquiring a minority stake in a merged SAA and SA Express, in which they have no interest. Conradie said that Mango would be a good fit as they have a similar business model and fleet. The only question is whether the government would want to rid itself of one of its only profitable airlines.
25 January 2016: A second FlySafair flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town had to return to OR Tambo on Sunday evening after they started losing cabin pressure. Poorly informed passengers (please pay attention during the safety demonstrations) seems to be the main cause of disappointment as passengers still expect the bag to fill with air when the masks drop.
This is the second incident FlySafair has had with cabin pressure within a week, and FlySafair has confirmed that the problem is with the same aircraft. "Of course FlySafair and Safair will always hold passenger safety as our primary concern and as such we are very thankful and proud of our crew who took the correct actions to ensure the safety of our passengers. As ever, our maintenance teams will be incredibly thorough in their investigative and repair efforts," said FlySafair Kirby Gordan. From passenger accounts, FlySafair have done their very best to clear passenger confusion and explained away all the worrying aspects.
2018-03-27 : Rating 5/5 "Since I discovered Safair I only trust them. Everything always runs so smooth, no hassles, friendly admin staff, friendly hostesses and the best pilots. We booked to PE for a funeral, then again for our family to Durban and now again for my daughter to fetch my granddaughter at George and bring her back home for hockey. They are simply the best!!!! " Retha van Niekerk
FlySafair operates out of Cape Town and currently offer flights from Cape Town to a few popular destinations within South Africa. They recently announced their relaunch and even before their first flight took off, they've already added another route. We hope that they will continue in this spirit and add even more routes in the near future.
Cape Town - George (Only during the summer months)
George - Cape Town (Only during the summer months)
Cape Town - Johannesburg
Johannesburg - Cape Town
Cape Town - Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth - Cape Town
Cape Town - East London
East London - Cape Town
Cape Town - Durban
Durban - Cape Town
Johannesburg - George
George - Johannesburg
Johannesburg - Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth - Johannesburg
Johannesburg - East London
East London - Johannesburg
Johannesburg - Durban
Durban - Johannesburg
You can make FlySafair bookings through our online booking engine or through FlySafair direct.
When booking on www.flysafair.co.za you have to first select your flight. You will be prompted to decide whether you want to book extra bags, whether you want to pay for SMS confirmation (initially R2.50) and whether you want to take your bicycle with you (also extra, at R280).
If you have special needs, you should contact FlySafair at email@example.com or 0871351351.
You can select your seat at the time of booking for R35, but a bit more for front row seats or seats at the emergency exit (R100) - passengers with special needs & families with kids cannot sit there. If you don't want to select seats, you can take your chance at the time of checking in.
You will then be prompted with various car rental options from First Car Rental.
Children under the age of 12 must have an adult flying with them.
FlySafair does not allow the transport of any animals (sorry snake/dog/cat lovers).
If you're booking online you must pay by credit card - visa, Mastercard, Diners Club or American Express. Otherwise you can pay by cash at the airport, or EFT to Safair Operations (Pty) Ltd FlySafair, FNB Corporate Cheque Account 62430964016, Branch Number 255005. You must pay within 24 hours of making your booking.
Up to 2 hours before your flight you can select your seat, either through the FlySafair website (see "manage booking") or through their call centre.
You can check-in online up to 2 hours before your flight's scheduled departure time, and from 24 hours before your flight.
As a true low cost carrier, FlySafair airfares don't include free checked baggage. You can only take one free bag as your handbaggage. Any additional luggage would be charged for seperately.
Your checked bag may not be bigger than 90x75x43cm or weigh more than 20kg. There is an additional charge for extra bags (cheaper if you book online) and for heavy bags - you can add extra bags up to 2 hours before the scheduled flight departure. As for all airlines, no bags may weight more than 32kgHand luggage may not be bigger than 56x36x23cm weigh more than 7kg.
A push-chair & a child-car-seat may be taken for infants, but other than that there's no baggage allowance for infants.
FlySafair does transport selected sports items at an additional cost.
You can manage your FlySafair flight booking online and make changes to the passenger name, dates and times of flights and add additional services.
You are not allowed to cancel your booking, but you can change your flight booking up to 2 hours before its scheduled departure time, at a cost of any increase in airfare plus R200pp (if you make your change through FlySafair's sales desk at an airport or through their call centre there's an additional service fee of R80pp).
Here are the flight numbers and departure times of OR Tambo to Cape Town flights (flights are scheduled to take 2 hours and 5 minutes):
Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays : FA101 (05h55), FA103 (11h30) & FA105 (16h50)
Wednesdays : FA101 (05h55), FA109 (17h30) & FA105 (16h50)
Fridays : FA101 (05h55), FA103 (11h30), FA109 (15h20) & FA105 (16h50)
Saturdays : FA111 (17h10), FA115 (14h15) & FA125 (16h25)
Sundays : FA117 (07h00), FA119 (12h30), FA129 (16h20) & FA121 (17h50)
Here's the flight numbers & scheduled departure times of Cape Town to OR Tambo flights (scheduled to take 2 hours):
Mondays & Thursdays : FA106 (06h25), FA108 (12h20) & FA110 (18h20)
Tuesdays : FA106 (06h25), FA108 (12h20) & FA104 (14h15)
Wednesdays : FA106 (06h25) & FA110 (18h20)
Fridays : FA106 (06h25), FA108 (12h20), FA104 (14h15) & FA110 (18h20)
Saturdays : FA122 (08h00), FA124 (13h40) & FA116 (17h20)
Sundays : FA122 (08h00), FA128 (13h20), FA120 (15h15) & FA130 (18h50)
Q: Has the public’s response when it comes to ticket sales met your expectations or exceeded it?
A: We’ve been overwhelmed by the support. We exceeded our passenger forecasts from day one and it is continuing to do so. We were especially surprised by the new routes we announced in November – Johannesburg/Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg/George.
Q: What has been the biggest challenges you have had to overcome since starting up in October 2014?
A: One of our biggest challenges has been to introduce effective automation across the business. As FlySafair grows, we are going to have to automate as many of our internal and external passenger interaction processes as possible, as this is the only way to make the business scalable, whilst lowering unit cost at the same time. This business is all about bringing costs down to support sustainably lower fares than our competitors.
Needless to say, operating such a productive schedule as we do, with as many as 8 flights per day per aircraft, puts pressure on our operational team. There is little opportunity to recover after unforeseen operational interruptions, so we are even prouder that we have been able to maintain an average 88% on-time-performance since we started flying, and 94.7% in January!
Q: Are we right in presuming that the JNB – CPT route is your most popular route? If so then which route is the second most popular?
A: JNB-CPT is our most popular route in terms of seats offered and loads. We are also delighted with the performance of JNB-GRJ, which whilst offering fewer seats, has taken us by surprise with its high average load factor.
Q: Mango and Kulula both operate flights to and from Lanseria. Do you see Lanseria as a possible second base in Johannesburg or will you only be flying in and out of OR Tambo for the foreseeable future?
A: At the moment we are flying 3 aircraft with a 4th as a backup. This doesn’t really lend itself to another base in Johannesburg. As we grow we will continue to evaluate all origins and destinations in South Africa and if it fits our low cost model then it will definitely be on our radar.
Q: Your CEO Dave Andrew said that FlySafair needs to expand its network if it wants to attract more business travellers. Which routes do you believe you’ll have to launch to attract more business travellers?
A: Business travellers obviously want connections between the main centres of commerce around the country, but also they require frequency of schedule in order to meet their requirement for flexibility. We are currently evaluating feedback from commercial quarters to understand which routes are important to them, and how we might be able to reconfigure our offering to give them a product designed with flexibility in mind.
In the meantime, we know that if we get the basics right – value fares, great on-time performance and professional service at all points of customer engagement – then we will undoubtedly attract a proportion of the business market to us.
Q: Are there any plans in the near future for you to start operating on the abovementioned routes?
A: Whilst we have not been specific on which routes we might develop with the business market in mind, we are evaluating a number of routes, particularly those which support not just the business market, but the leisure and VRF markets too. We want to appeal to a broad church within the South African travelling public.
Q: Are there any routes on your current network that has not performed as expected?
A: Cape Town to George has not lived up to our expectations yet. We always knew that this would be a challenging route, given the seasonality, and the short sector length which lends itself to direct competition from road transport. That said we looked at the exorbitant fares levied by our competition (starting from R1,400 one-way) and we anticipated being able to stimulate the market significantly by coming onto the route with fares from R399.
We still believe there is a market between Cape Town and George, but if the market isn’t ready, we will off course evaluate where we might use our valuable aircraft time elsewhere to make superior returns.
Q: How has Safair been performing since FlySafair started up?
A: Safair is still a much bigger business than FlySafair at this stage and still the back bone of our company and is doing very well financially. We still believe in this business and intend growing this into the future as well.
Q: Do you see FlySafair becoming bigger and more profitable than Safair in the future?
A: We believe both businesses have a good chance at success and growth and would wish that both grow from strength to strength. Having two performing businesses in different sectors of aviation can only be a good thing in the longer term.
Q: If there is something that FlySafair could improve on, what do you think it would be?
A: Our main goal is to ensure a cheap, simple, on-time customer experience and we will continue to focus all our efforts on achieving this. The old adage ‘Keep it simple stupid (KISS)’ is very relevant in an industry dependent on costly fuel, a high labour component, and high capital requirements.
Q: Where do you see the airline in 5 years?
A: Firmly in the sky!
09 October 2015. FlySafair incorporated an added value service which will allow passengers to buy a priority pass for R50, which will allow them to board the plane first. Priority passes will be limited on each flight so that the benefit does not get eroded when there are too many passes sold.
4 August 2015. FlySafair has announced that they will no longer be operating the Cape Town - George route during the winter months. As they are running the route at a loss during the winter months, they either had to increase flight prices or cut the route during off-peak season. “It does not make business sense for us to continue operations during the winter months if we want to manage our costs and continue to provide our passengers with the lowest fares in the market,” said newly appointed CEO Elmar Conradie. eir last flight on this route of the season will take place on the 23rd of August 2015 and they will resume the route on the 10th of December 2015.
“We regret the inconvenience this may cause to passengers who have already booked to fly between George and Cape Town during our withdrawal period, and would like to sincerely apologise to them,” he added. FlySafair will contact everyone affected and offer them full refunds to allow them to make alternative travel arrangements. They are in no way cancelling the route permanently as this has proved a very busy route during the summer months. FlySafair are committed to bringing cheaper airfares to South Africa, in this case it just means they can't deliver the service year-round.
16 July 2015. FlySafair has announced that previous CFO Elmar Conradie has now been appointed CEO of FlySafair, taking over from Dave Andrew who will remain on the board of directors. At the same time FlySafair announced that they are replacing their seats with lighter seats to save on fuel costs. “The new seats are specially designed to offer passengers as much space and comfort as possible, and at the same time save on weight and therefore fuel costs,” said Conradie. He continued to say that FlySafair has an above 90%-average on-time performance and that along with providing a reliable air service they also want to keep costs as low as possible. You'd be greatly mistaken to believe that their service is in any way inferior just because it is so much cheaper. "Just because we are a low-cost airline, does not mean we have to be inferior," he explained. Repeat clients and growth show that they might be just what the doctor ordered.
07 April 2015. FlySafair spread the Easter love at OR Tambo this Eater Sunday by handing out Easter eggs to their happy customers. Check out the Easter Bunny's helping hands below:
01 April 2015. FlySafair had a very difficult start to their month. The airline had to delay flights FA1301 from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town and flight FA1004 from Cape Town to Johannesburg because of a technical issues to one of the their aircraft. Flight FA1301 was scheduled to depart Port Elizabeth at 07h30 and arrive in Cape Town at 09h00. Flight FA1004 was scheduled to depart Cape Town at 09h25 and arrive in Johannesburg at 11h30. Flight FA1301 will now only leave Port Elizabeth at 16h05 and arrive in Cape Town at 17h35, while flight FA1004 will only depart Cape Town at 18:00 and arrive in Johannesburg at 20:10. The airline had to fly in a backup aircraft to complete the flights. Affected passengers have taken to Facebook and twitter to share their frustration. Many passengers from PE are on their way to Cape Town for the One Direction concert who might not arrive on time for the concert. There are also students on the Cape Town to Johannesburg flight who have missed their university graduation because of the delay. The aircraft that was to be used for both these scheduled flights experienced a sudden drop in cabin pressure while on route to Port Elizabeth from Cape Town during flight FA1300. Oxygen masks were deployed and the captain reverted the plane back to Cape Town. The incident took place as the aircraft was flying over Mosselbay. The captain turned the plane around and landed back at Cape Town International at 07h00. There were no reports of serious injuries. FlySafair was surely hoping that this was a April Fool's joke, but sadly it isn't.
11 Maart 2015. FlySafair are in the process of upgrading their fleet to Boeing 737-800's - a more efficient aircraft that will help them cut costs. In the process they have also decided to update their livery and add to their tail design in order to make the aircrafts easier to identify from the ground.
Along with the new livery, the Boeings will be fitted with new ergonomic seats which are slimmer and lighter. This will in no way reduce legroom of passenger comfort, both serious considerations. “As a low-cost carrier, we’re always going to have to use space efficiently; these seats are specially designed using new materials that make them only about a third of the thickness of our old seats. This means we can offer passengers up to two inches of extra room. We opted for fixed-recline seats after consulting with passengers whose top flight annoyance was having the passenger sitting in front of them robbing them of space by reclining on top of them. Our aim is to be innovative with systems, technologies and operations to ensure we always offer a superior product at the best price possible,” said Kirby Gordon, vice president of sales and distribution at FlySafair.
The first upgraded plane will take to the skies on the 15 August 2015, flying Johannesburg to Cape Town.
24 February 2015. Want to win four return FlySafair flights to any of their destinations? Then share the love with FlySafair and three of your closest friends or family members. But pick carefully as you might have to spend an entire holiday with them! FlySafair will draw one winner per week until the end of March 2015. So make your way over to their Facebook page and enter before it is too late.
7 January 2015. In 2 months and 8 days, FlySafair managed to check in and fly 100 000 passengers. That comes to 1470.6 passengers a day and 44117.6 passengers carried on average a month. On the 22nd of December 2014 the airline checked in and flew their 100 000th passenger. The passenger flew from Johannesburg to Cape Town, which is fitting because it is the first route that FlySafair started operating on. FlySafair CEO, Dave Andrew, said that they are thrilled that the public has supported them during their first couple of months in operation. Dave says that the demand for FlySafair flights has exceeded their expectations, and that they might be able to grow faster than what they had planned. The airline believes that they can still grab more of the corporate market as they continue to expand their network across South Africa.
11 December 2014. In a recent Business Day interview FlySafair's CEO, Dave Andrew, said that they have not been able to attract business travellers yet because of their limited network. Mr. Andrew said that to attract corporate travellers they need to fly to more destinations and that is what they are looking into. This means that FlySafair are starting to plan more routes across South Africa. We will have to wait and see where they are planning to fly to. Hopefully they will take a look at our Wish List from clients calling for flights to almost every airport in SA.
13 November 2014. FlySafair began flying between Cape Town and George today after sales started on the 12th of August 2014. A week ago FlySafair announced that they will be adding flights to both George and Port Elizabeth from Johannesburg’s O.R.Tambo airport, the company’s second base after Cape Town. The airline will start flying on both these routes from the 3rd of December 2014 with 5 flights a week between JNB-GRJ and 7 flights a week between JNB and PLZ.
6 November 2014. Joburgers can rejoice as FlySafair have just announced that they are also establishing a base in OR Tambo with flights to George and Port Elizabeth taking off from the 3rd of December 2014. The airline currently only connects Joburg with flights to Cape Town. They are currently advertising rates on these new routes from R499* but you'll have to act quick to guarantee these amazing prices! We can't wait to hear what they announce next!
28 October 2014 : News from FlySafair is that everything is running smoothly and they have been running on time with most of their flights between JNB and CPT. We have looked at the latest prices and we saw that the CPT - JNB prices have slightly increased but the prices are still very competitive. Prices on their other routes are still being sold at their opening specials prices of R399* between CPT - PE and CPT - GRJ.
2016-04-26 : Rating 5/5 "Despite my love for aviation I never had the opportunity to visit any airport or to see an airplane up close. I only ever got to them high in the sky, like a small flying bird to my eyes. I was always dreaming about seeing it next to me. I used to visit Cape Town and Johannesburg and spent hours travelling on busses, but it became too uncomfortable in my old age. I couldn't believe how big the plane was when I finally got to visit Cape Town airport on a visit to my husband. My children recently gave me one of the biggest surprises and booked me a flight on FlySafair from East London to Cape Town. I was both excited and nervous, but seeing the aircraft set me at ease. FlySafair staff members assisted me at the airport and directed me to my flight, which was definitely a full five star experience! I can't imagine ever spending 13 hours on the road to Cape Town again. I still find it hard to believe that I can depart East London at 11h45 and arrive in Cape Town at 13h00. Affordable flights like the ones FlySafair offer make me smile. " Zimaseka Jikeka
2015-11-19 : Rating
5/5 "I was one of the fortunate ones who managed to snag FlySAfair's R1 tickets, in a really magical turn of events.
I was not even aware of the airline's special until a friend told me in the middle of the day. I expressed astonishment at the airline's innovative marketing strategy and didn't even consider that there would be any tickets left. I got home, got busy and only later checked the airline's website. Idly, I punched in dates but was unsuccessful. In between, the site was having technical issues and I had to keep trying again. Then I decided, on a moment of inspiration to enter the date of my dad's birthday, 4 November, hoping that I at least get to see him this year, as he is in Durban and I am in Jbg. Lo and behold, my date processed right through to final payment... when it crashed! In a panic I called the airline call centre and was told: yes, you got it! I could not believe my good fortune and could only thank God that I could see my dad turn 78 years old!
That 4th November, I surprised my dad, who was immeasurably touched. You see, he is also recovering from serious illness. FlySAfair made it possible for us to make memories to treasure and I will never forget that.
The flight was on time and well flown, the staff pleasant and efficient(in particular, Joline assisted me so well with keeping my suitcase when a passenger rudely moved mine to fit her's in, while leaving mine sticking out). What struck me was the great co-ordination amongst the crew (on the ground and air) to ensure that everything went smoothly, and it did.
Thumbs up, FlySAfair, you have left an indelible mark on me, and I will definitely fly with you with pleasure! Please keep up the great work and price specials! You do not know the impact you have, making it possible for families and friends to connect and make beautiful memories. Onwards and upwards!" Arlene
2015-09-17 : Rating 5/5 "On the 14/9/2015 my husband and me travelled from Cape Town International Airport to Port Elizabeth for the first time. We did not know what to expect and were excited at the same time. We flew with FlySafair and the journey was awesome. We were very emotional as it was a dream come true. The flight attendants were proffesional we even managed to take photos while we were still allowed to. We did not mind what others may say, we were just happy! We are soooo looking forward to the return flight home. I will give them a 100% as service was up to standard every step of the way. FlySafair you are the best!"Nomakwayi Ntyutyana
2015-08-26 : Rating 4/5 "I flew with FlySafair from Johannesburg to Cape Town. I chose them because my colleagues recommended it and I found it the cheapest. It would be the first time I travelled with them. At first I was unsure as what to expect. I decided to embark on this experience with an open mind. I found the tickets to be quite cheaper than other airlines so I was at first satisfied. As I embarked on the flight I was greeted with warmness, a friendly environment and a standard setup of surroundings. I hoped it would be a smooth flight with no hiccups. The air hostess showed me to my seat and ensured I was comfortable. Take off was delayed by 10 minutes, but I took it in my stride. As I was travelling for work and personal reasons I used this time on the flight to gather some energy and focus. As we reached the destination I pondered as to how I enjoyed my experience and how I would rate it. On a scale of 1 to 5...I would give it a 4 with room for minor room for improvement. I enjoyed my flight and reached my destination safely. I was satisfied. The airline gave me a sense of them being willing and able to compete on a competitive market and being able to deliver quality in all aspects of service. I would definitely use them again on my travels and reccomend them to others. They definitely have the motivation and are headed in the right direction. Best of all was the smooth landing and ease with which it was done. No jerkings, ear aches and bumpy segments. This can be termed a successful flight with a satisfied customer and an overall pleasant experience. " Muhammad Jeeva
2015-06-19 : Rating 5/5"I was flying with my brother from CT to Johannesburg last month for a family gathering. I was always very afraid of flying. I would frequently have panic attacks on entering the a plane or any closed space for that matter. This made my life really difficult since I must travel frequently on long distances. For a long time I avoided flying as much as possible using trains, buses and cars. But with my age travelling like this became strenuous and took too much time. But after I experienced the flight with FlySafair airlines I discovered that it is actually people - the CREW - for that matter who can change a dreadful trip into a completely new experience. The crew on the flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg from the very beginning showed me a huge interest and care. After I told a stewardess that I have tendency for panic attacks she offered me a seat close to their cabin and asked every 15 minutes if I felt okay. Also she would bring me water and snack so that I felt more comfortable and to give me a feeling that I can rely on her help anytime I needed. Also she offered me a newspaper to keep my mind occupied and cast away all fears. I must admit that this is a first time like this on the plane that the Staff were so attentive, reassuring and reliable. The experience of flying with FlySafair made a huge change in my attitude to flying. From now on I am more confident to do it." Anna Brown
2015-02-26 : Rating 5/5"On Thursday the 12th February I had my first flying experience with FLYSAFAIR. I was off to Cape Town to see my boyfriend for Valentines Day (cute right?). To say that I was a little apprehensive was an understatement. I chose to fly with FLYSAFAIR as I paid next to nothing for my ticket. This is probably because I didn’t take a suitcase. So obviously you think “Is this too good to be true?” It doesn’t help that a friend of mine had posted a negative status on a social networking site about the airline regarding delays etc. However I was willing to keep an open mind about this as all airlines have experienced delays at least once in their existence and sometimes it is not the airlines fault. I did phone their helpdesk on the day though just to check that my flight was still due to depart on time. They advised me that all was good to go and not to worry. I got to OR Tambo quite early because I was worried about Load Shedding affecting traffic etc so as soon as I got to the airport I went for a bite to eat but not before I checked my flight details, gate and departure time. All was on schedule. After my meal I started making my way to the boarding gate. Smooth sailing so far. I got to my departure gate and I sat for maybe 10 minutes when we started to board. The FLYSAFAIR staff were in such high spirits – smiling and laughing and generally making the vibe a happy one. Which is great in these times as we all here in Johannesburg have been suffering from the Load Shedding we have been having. Once on the plane the staff remained really upbeat. The captain kept us informed on the outside weather and where we were flying over at what time. The service on the plane was phenomenal. I couldn’t have asked for anything better and I was soon regretting ever doubting this airline. After landing I walked straight through the terminal up to be collected by my boyfriend. It was easy, it was comfortable and it was enjoyable. I couldn’t ask for a better flying experience. So for anybody who has negative comments to make about any airline just remember…one bad experience doesn’t mean that it is a bad airline. There are other outside factors that can affect your schedule. Just be patient as hard as it is and enjoy the ride. " Tamsyn Maré
2015-01-26 : Rating 5/5 "Well done on this airline! Now I can also fly to visit my daughters and soon to see my first grandchild! I'm super excited-living in Jeffreys bay with my mom-im a single parent earning an income of less than R4000 a month I can now manage to squeeze an amount in my tight budget and make use of this airline! Keep it up! Hope to fly many miles in future!" Suzette Degachi
2014-12-24 : Rating 3/5 "I have had three flights on FlySafair and I feel that I would like to express my opinion on this airline. The flights were mainly OK. 1. The pricing is excellent value for money. 2. I was pleasantly surprised by the clean look and feel of the re upholstered cabin. 3. Also I loved the fact that I could book the exit row prior to check in. It does however come at a third class experience. After an hour in the air you start to realise that these planes are old. 1. My biggest complain would be the very smelly toilets and old flush system that overs on open position which is awful to say the least - a. After about an hour in the air the cabin air also smells foul and I felt that I needed a shower - b. The air hostess crew were neutral and neither good nor bad. 2. The second concern was that the ground staff are poorly trained and do not know how to handle a crises or delay. They let us stand out in the cold wind waiting for a bus to the airplane. 3. The pilot and air crew did not even find it necessary to apologise for a half hour delay from Johannesburg. I will fly this airline only if I am on a tight budget. My other 6 flights per month will be on modern airplanes. Also I would recommend new planes urgently." Grant Heynes
2014-10-15 : Rating 5/5 "My flight with FlySafair went down without a hitch. I had to be at the airport at 07h00 and when I arrived I was greeted by freindly staff who escorted me to the waiting plane. Once onboard we were given ample amounts of food and drink and the flight attendents were certainly more friendly than those of other low cost airlines. The pilot did a flyby past Table Mountain and I got some awesome pics of Table Mountain. I will definitely be on one of their flights in the near future again." Jimmy Victor
13 - The number of planes owned and operated by FlySafair's parent company, Safair
5 - The number of maintenance hangers they have at OR Tambo International
4 - The number of cities they will initially be flying to
6 - Number of civil aviation authorities who audit them
49 - The number of years that Safair have been in operation
30 - The number of years that they have been in their offices at OR Tambo
66,259 - The number of passengers that they have transported over the last year
3340 - Number of flights thus far for 2014
109 - Number of airports that they have landed at in 2014
380 - The number of staff that they employ
22,000 - Tonnes of cargo have been moved by Safair during 2014 alone
09 October 2014 : In a recent interview with Travel News Weekly magazine the CEO of FlySafair said that the airline is new to the passenger service but they certainly aren’t new to the aviation industry. He said that FlySafair's parent company Safair has been in the industry for 40 years during which they have gained valuable knowledge that will be used to make a success of FlySafair. Mr Andrew said that they will not be solely dependent on the income from FlySafair because they have a number of other profitable operations running. The market has responded very well to FlySafair but the trade has not been too engaging. Because the pricing is so low there is very little room for commissions to be paid. FlySafair hopes to work more closely with stakeholders in the travel trade as soon as they start operating.
30 October 2014 : FlySafair will be launching their Cape Town - Port Elizabeth route today. The airline has been getting mixed reviews on social media but teething problems are to be expected when a new business starts up. Seats have been selling out very quickly, even exceeding the expectations of FlySafair's staff. The launch of the new route will now be a real test for the airline to see if they can operate on more than one route with the same on time performance that they have been operating on, on the Cape Town - Johannesburg route. People in PE are excited at the prospect of a new low cost carrier flying into their city and so they should be. Let’s hope FlySafair keeps expanding!
15 October 2014 : SouthAfrica.TO got invited to fly down with FlySafair's dry run flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town for the Cape Town launch. All went well and we got to ride through the traditional water spray by the airport's fire trucks. We are looking forward to seeing the first plane take off from Cape Town on the 16th of October!
26 September 2014 : International cloud-based distribution and reservation systems for airlines Redixx, has added FlySafair to its growing list of African clients. FlySafair CEO Dave Andrew said that they needed a reservation system with flexibility to meet their special requirements. Dave said that Redixx provided the flexibility and expertise that FlySafair needs from their reservations partner that no other reservation company could. FlySafair passengers need to pay R150 per bag for checked luggage but they get to take one item of hand luggage along free of charge as long as the item is not heavier than 7kg. This model has been used for many years in Europe buy FlySafair will be the first South African low cost carrier to use this European style booking model. Redixx was the only reservation system that could accommodate FlySafair’s new model that is why the airline teamed up with them. FlySafair and South African/Zimbabwean low coast carrier FlyAfrica who flies between JNB – VFA and HRE are now both Redixx clients.
13 August 2014 : More great news from South Africa’s newest low cost carrier FlySafair. The airline has added another route to its planned network. They have announced that they will be adding flights between Cape Town and George to their current planned routes of CPT - PE and JHB - CPT. They have not announced when exactly they are going to start with this route but we checked their booking engine and the first date on which you can book a flight on this route is on the 13th of November 2014. One way flights are being advertised at R399*. *Subject to change. Limited Availability.
6 August 2014 : FlySafair and First Car Rental have formed a partnership. Clients will now be able to access car rental as well as flights on the FlySafair website. Lorna Terblanche from FlySafair says it is very important for FlySafair to partner up with other companies who share the airline’s vision of keeping prices as low as possible. That is why they have partnered up with First Car Rental who share this vision with them.
29 Jul 2014 : FlySafair's first flight will take off on the 16th of October 2014. After being stopped in its tracks in September last year because their ownership structure did not match South African rules and regulations, they restructured their company ownership and got their licence back. Their first flight routes will be between Cape Town and Johannesburg, and Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. They have some great specials running with their launch.
21 Jul 2014 : Safair’s parent firm, the ASL Aviation Group, signed a Letter of Intent with Lockheed Martin for an order of up to ten LM-100Js. The LM-100J is the civil-certified version of the Lockheed Hercules C-130J, an updated version of the L-100 cargo aircraft. First deliveries of the aircraft are expected late in 2018 after the FAA certification has been completed.
29 Apr 2014 : We're all watching Comair to see whether they will challenge the ASLC's decision again. Erik Venter, their Chief Executive, has said that they are waiting for the ASLC to provide reasons for dismissing their objection to FlySafair being granted a licence.
15 Apr 2014 : FlySafair have had their new licence application approved by the Air Services Licencing Council; with Comair's objections being dismissed. Unless Comair take them to court again, there'll be a new airline in our skies soon.
16 April 2014 : 'Safair today announced the news that the Air Services Licencing Council (ASLC) have granted FlySafair a domestic air service licence for the operation of domestic scheduled flights. This is in addition to the international and domestic unscheduled licence that it held for almost 50 years, providing aviation services both domestically and locally. The airline was initially blocked from starting its operations after two competitors brought an urgent application to interdict the new low cost airline from starting its operations based on it not meeting the 75% domestic ownership requirements. Since then FlySafair has restructured their shareholding, getting rid of the shareholding which caused the problems and at the same time concluding the largest employee share ownership scheme in the aviation industry, effectively giving its South African employees a 25.14% stake in the company. Despite FlySafair not having been operational since October 2013, the airline retained the services of all the employees who were hired 10 months ago, by utilising them in Safair’s traditional business of providing backup services to local airlines and also in international charter operations. “This demonstrates our commitment not only to job creation, but also sends a clear message that FlySafair is here for the long run. We are eager to provide South Africans with an alternate low cost airline that is dedicated to offering competitive and sustainable fares between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The FlySafair team looks forward to our passengers putting our promise of affordability and exceptional service to the test,” says Dave Andrew, CEO of Safair. "Having now received our new schedule passenger licence, we are currently evaluating our options for the re-launch of FlySafair. Dates for the launch flight and ticket sales will be announced in due course."'
22 Nov 2013 : FlySafair has reapplied for a license with the Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC), after concluding a BEE deal with employees, chosen an SA registered company as another shareholder & changed the ownership structure to exclude former shareholders. This follows FlySafair writing to Comair to say that it planned on withdrawing from the legal process to review the licence granted to it by the ASLC. “Since the interdict was granted we have expedited our BBBEE transaction, previously advised to the ASLC and, as a result, restructured our shareholding, which also addresses some of the concerns raised in the court interdict.” said CEO of FlySafair, Dave Andrew.
Safair had been working on a BBBEE since April 2013. They held off on the implementation of the deal pending the outcome of the court case with Comair as they were worried that it would have an impact on the court case. Given that the interim interdict was granted, the BEE deal was then completed as there was no reason not to do it anymore and in fact very good reason to buy out Hugh Flynn which Comair attacked based on the fact that he currently works in Ireland. The effect of the deal is that the shareholding now looks as follows:
25% Safair Holdings – a 100% subsidiary of the ASL Group of companies (foreign owned). This is the maximum that is allowed to be held by non-South Africans under the Air Services Licensing Act.
25.1% - NdizaSafair – an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP) implemented for the purposes of BBBEE. FlySafair believe this is the largest such an ownership deal done in the aviation sector. As part of this the shares of Hugh Flynn, which was the major part of Comair’s objections, were repurchased by Safair Operations, effectively taking out the problem with his shareholding. The ESOP allows previously disadvantaged employees, who are are permanent employees and have been working at Safair for longer than 1 year, to participate. This is a significant deal and shows the company’s commitment to its people and BBBEE. "We are delighted to give our people, some of them working for us for more than 30 years, a chance to change their lives", said Elmar Conradie, Chief Financial Officer of Safair Operations. "As the employees partaking in the ESOP are all South African residents, there can no longer be any possible confusion as to the residency and citizenship of our shareholders", said Dave Andrew. Safair contributed to NdizaSafair to allow it to subscribe to 25.1% of the ordinary shares in the company, there is zero debt funding & all benefits accrue immediately to participants. As part of this process Dumisani Mthombeni, who was elected as trustee of the ESOP has also been appointed as director of Safair Operations. There are 4 trustees for NdizaSafair – 2 are appointed by the board of Safair and 2 are elected by employees. One of the employee elected trustees automatically sits on the board of Safair. The board of Safair is Wimpie Davidson, Elmar Conradie, Dave Andrew, Hugh Flynn (representing Safair Holdings/ASL) and Dumisani Mthombeni (representing NdizaSafair).
49.9% Safair Investment Trust – at the same time E. Conradie and D. Andrew consolidated their shareholding into an investment entity. They brought in another director, F.W. Davidson as investor.
There is only one class of ordinary shares now, with no differences in the economic benefits or voting rights.
UPDATE: We are happy to report that FlySafair added flights from Cape Town and Johanensburg to Durban and East London. Unfortunately no news about a connection between East London and Durban/Port Elizabeth.
Do you want FlySafair to fly to more destinations around South Africa? Send us an email in which you tell us on which routes you wish FlySafair would start flying on. If you have any other suggestions for FlySafair feel free to drop us a mail. Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org today!
1. Joanna Wright: "Please could you consider also flying East London to Cape Town. We are desperate for decent flight prices here. A lot of us can’t afford to fly to Cape Town anymore. SAA is the only options and a return flight is R4000!"
2. Karina Vermaak: "I would like to suggest flights between Port Elizabeth & Kimberley (return). I have family in Kimberley and they always struggle to get flights and it always seems to be very expensive. Thanks."
3. Petru Luus: "What about Durban to Cape Town?"
4. Ken Robertson: "Any chance of your airline flying between these 2 cities (Cape Town and Durban) and if so, when?"
5. Yolind van Wyk: "When will there be any available flights from Bfn to El and return if this should transpire at what cost per adult return?"
6. Valerie: "Morning, any hope to Launch FlySafair in Durban? I can't wait to hear from you'll. My name is Valerie use to travel Dbn to Cape Town".
7. Linda Prinsloo: "Hi there.. I have booked a flight in Feb.. not thinking........ and afterwards asked if my 4 legged 700g Yorkie can fly with.. and although you love doggies he cant. It was so sad.. and mabe I must give my ticket away and fly Kulula... grrrr.. wanted to fly this week as well but my doggy must fly with.. because he is my baby...you are doing well except for the doglovers who wanted to fly with... ".
8. Petru Luus: "Please please we need flights from Durban to Cape Town".
9. L Rossouw: "What about East London!!!!?"
10. Kelly Nel: "I am sending you an email to ask you to please consider East London to Cape Town route for FlySafair. I really think this in demand and a reasonable airline would be a huge success. Has this been thought of?"
11. Eugene Naude: "What about Durban?"
12. Glynis Smith: "There is only one problem, you don’t fly the EL to Cape Town, or EL to Jhb. Such a pity as we don’t have much choice here in EL."
13. Dale: "Please could you advise when you will be introducing flights from Cape Town to Durban?"
14. Hazel: "I see there are no flights to and from Durban - the forgotten city again - are there any future plans on the cards for us?"
15. Elizabeth Strijdom: "Where are the cheap flights to East London??"
16. Solveig Piper: "When are you introducing flights from JHB to Durban?"
17. Elmarie Wepener: "How expensive can it be to introduce a Departure/Return Bfn-Plettenbergbay or even Bfn-George return? You will be surprised I am sure with the amount of passengers!!! Come on please consider this seriously. I like what you doing and hope to see this happening in the future. Especially during the week - Tuesdays to Thursday, just enough time to oversee business and pleasure. Imagine a Crayfish and Oyster flight as an example. Congratulations with an excellent rate and service."
18. Memory Nuka: "I was wondering when you were going to add Durban as a destination for FlySaFair? It's a very popular area and I'm shocked that it's not one of your flight destinations."
19. Nicky Santos: "Am waiting for you to start flying from DURBAN to JHB ….!!!!!! How can you leave KZN out."
20. Freda du Toit: "What about BFN/Cape Town, even if it’s only over the weekends at first? The airfares are astronomical on this route and flights are pretty full."
21. Mona Ryklief: "Please I would so very much like to board a plane to Kimberley My husband and myself can no longer take the long drive by car to Kimberley. We took the Greyhound bus on a few occasions enjoyed the first and second trip but after the 3rd that has also become boring and too long. We are both senior citizens and would love to be able to go by plane we will have at least 20 hours more to spend with our family that we only see over the Easter weekend. SAA we will not pay almost R4000.oo per person for a ticket to Kimberley it is utterly ridiculous. Hoping that one day you guys will consider that route to the diamond city. Thanking you."
22. Alison Raposo: "Please can you look at the East London route. We are desperate for flights."
23. Sally Seboka: “Hi there, when are you going to have two flights to BLOEMFONTEIN PER DAY, THIS IS REALLY GOOD FOR BUSINESS TRAVELLER."
24. Danie Giliomee: "Could you please consider direct flights between East London and Cape Town. We are desperate for decent flight prices as SAA is the only option but a return flight costs between R4000 and R4500. No competition for SAA as they can ask what they want."
25. Judy Chetty: "Any chance of a DBN to Port Elizabeth route any time soon?"
11 October 2013 : If you are looking for an EFT refund, contact FlySafair at 087-135-1351. If you are looking to rebook at Comair, email email@example.com or phone 010-492-2230. If there are further problems you can contact Dave himself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9 October 2013 : Following the court ruling in favour of Kulula and Skywise Airline, which interdicted FlySafair from launching operations until the ASLC's decion to grant FlySafair a scheduled licence was reviewed by the courts; their Chief Executive, Dave Andrew sent an email to passengers who had booked Johannesburg to Cape Town flights with them. Andrews assured passengers that they were guaranteed to have their money refunded, or to be booked on Comair flights (British Airways or Kulula) at no extra cost. He also said that FlySafair are confident that the issue will be solved. Passengers should phone 087 135 1351.
8 October 2013 Judge Neil Tuchten in the North Gauteng High Court has ruled in favour of Skywise & Comair Airlines, interdicting FlySafair from operating for the moment. "The probability is that Safair designed and implemented a scheme which created the illusion that Safair in fact had brought itself within section 16(4) of the Act while in truth it had not....In my view there is a strong probability that Safair is both commercially and legally obliged to defer to and implement any decisions made by its holding companies in relation to Safair's proposed operation ... and that Safair will thus not be in effective control of the proposed new enterprise." The judge also ordered Comair to take steps to ensure that passengers who had bought FlySafair tickets be accommodated on their planes at no extra cost, and that Comair broadcast the contents of the court order to the public.
4 October 2013 : At 10am at the Pretoria High Court oral arguments begin, with both parties being given a chance to address the court about their case. One of the issues will be about whether Safair directors should give evidence to the court (Safair has opposed that).
1 October 2013 : Arguments are filed at the Pretoria High Court, with a summary highlighting main points.
16 September 2013 : Radio discussion on Classic FM business about the High Court application against Safair and Air services Licensing Authority.
13 September 2013 : Comair and Skywise Airline together apply to the North Gauteng High Court for an interim interdict to stop FlySafair from launching scheduled flights (number 56548/13 in the North Gauteng High Court), until the court has reviewed the decision of the ASLA to give FlySafair a license to fly scheduled flights (see Comair Press Release on its FlySafair objections). This application is expected to be heard on the 1st October 2013. In addition to the original allegations, Comair say that the the class of shares which Mr Conradie, Mr Andrews & Mr Flynn own don't get paid dividends, have limited voting rights and can be bought at any time by shareholders in another class. Comair say there are 2 classes of shares - ordinary shares (owned by Safair Aviation Ireland) and class A shares (owned by Mr Conradie, Andrews & Flynn), and that the Class A Shares are not entitled to dividends, not entitled to the return of capital on winding up, can only be sold to other A shareholders and only with the consent of Safair Limited.
A quick look at the legalities around this : According to section 16(4) c and d of the Air Services Licensing Act, an "application is granted and a licence issued or amended...if the applicant satisfies the council...that, subject to the provisions of subsection (5), the applicant—
(i) if the applicant is a natural person, is a resident of the Republic; or
(ii) if the applicant is not a natural person, is incorporated in the Republic and at least 75 per cent of the voting rights in respect of such person is held by residents of the Republic;
(d) that the person referred to in paragraph (c) will be actively and effectively in control of the air service; and.
Section 16(5) of the Act then says that "The council shall exempt an applicant, on the conditions determined by the Minister, from the provisions of subsection (4) (c) if the Minister, after considering an application on the prescribed form, directed the council to exempt such applicant".
2 September 2013 : The Air Services Licensing Authority dismisses objections to FlySafair's license: Mr Andries Ntjane, the deputy director said that "The council sat and adjudicated that there was no basis to refuse the application… everything has been satisfied."
On the 28th August 2013, Comair (which flies the Kulula and British Airways in South Africa) lodged an objection with the Air Services Licensing Council, as they believe FlySafair has more than 25% foreign ownership, they allege:
Hugh Flynn, one of the owners and the Chairman of Safair, they say is not "normally resident" in SA - his home is in Ireland.
Safair is a "front" being used by ASL to enter South Africa, referring to inconsistencies in their submission to the Air Services Licensing Council, with some documents mentioning 100% ownership (this is a similar objection to the one Comair had against Fastjet South Africa).
“On July 5, Comair Limited raised its objections about foreign ownership with the Air Services Licensing Council of South Africa, who considered and rejected the validity of their concerns. On August 23, FlySafair was subsequently granted permission to start its own domestic low-cost operation...Safair Operations (Pty) Limited, which owns and operates low-cost carrier, FlySafair, has a 75% South African shareholding, in accordance with the Air Services Licensing Act. The remaining 25% of the voting rights in Safair Operations (Pty) Limited is owned by Safair Aviation Ireland Limited, which in turn is wholly owned by the Irish ASL Aviation Group. I believe that it is also pertinent to reiterate that Safair has had a 75% South African shareholding since 2009. No organisation or individual has ever questioned this structure before, so it is surprising that Comair Limited is raising objections now that we have announced the launch of a low-cost competitor, which will naturally challenge its kulula operation,” said Dave Andrew on the 29th August 2013.
"These objections were raised to our submission which was lodged in May. We responded to all the objections Comair made and the council reviewed (that) and under review they agreed to grant us the licence. We have answered them and we believe we are compliant," said Dave Andrew of Safair.
Safair Operations (Proprietary) Limited, registration number 2007/032915/07, trades as FlySafair. Safair Operations is 25% owned by the Irish ASL Aviation Group & 75% by South African businessmen (the minimum local ownership required to operate domestic flights in South Africa) - Dave Andrew, Elmar Conradie & Hugh Flynn (all directors of Safair). Safair has over 40 years experience of aircraft maintenance, leasing, training & chartering services. Safair offers back-up services for most local airlines - often when an established airline has a plane out of service, Safair steps in providing their own aircraft.
We posed several questions to FlySafair which were replied to on the 13th September 2013:
Is FlySafair still on track for launching JNB-CPT sales end September? "Yes and we look forward to opening bookings to the public."
Is FlySafair leasing its B737-400s or will it own them? "The planes are leased in and are already in the country on our AOC, ready to fly."
Comair have been saying how much fuel their 737-800s are saving them compared to their old 737-400s. Is there any concern from a fuel efficiency point of view? "Fuel is always a concern, but the benefit we have on the 400s are the much lower capital costs."
Today 2 hotels in Durban were announced as South Africa's favourite. Does FlySafair have any plans for Durban flights? Or would it first move onto a different second route? "For the time being we are going to focus on flying between Johannesburg and Cape Town, but we are definitely looking to expand to other routes in the future."
With PakAfrica Aviation, Fastjet & Skywise keen on starting flights in SA, are you concerned there may be too many players? How many airlines do you think the SA market can support? "The more carriers enter the market, the better it will be for the consumers, but there is a level at which the SA market won’t be able to cater for additional airlines."
How well capitalised is FlySafair? "We have sufficient access to funding to successfully start up the airline and then of course we also have our existing business which will continue to contribute to the company".
FlySafair initial fleet consists of 2 Boeing 737-400 jets, which previously belonged to Nok Air, and were built in 1994. Plans are to possibly use new generation aircraft once they pass through the startup phase.
Here's some FlySafair ads which Safair were running on their website in August 2013 when they announced the launch of FlySafair, to see the latest ads and announcemnets from FlySafair head to their Facebook Page:
"For the love of flying, FlySafair, fly between Joburg and Cape Town".
"Safair, South Africa's leading aerial logistics company is often called on to drop hundreds of parachutes off over Phalaborwa....If jumping out a plane at 10000m over Phalaborwa doesn't blow your hair back go to www.flysafair.co.za instead"
"Safair, South Africa's leading aerial logistics company regularly transports scientists & equipment to Antarctica. If chatting to a few thousand penguins in Antarctica leaves you cold go to flysafair.co.za instead"
"Safair, South Africa's leading aerial logistics company recently carried an aquarium full of hammerhead sharks to Singapore. If bobbing around in an airborne aquarium with a whole pile of hungry hammerheads is going to give you a heart attack go to www.flysafair.co.za instead."
"We are extremely excited about this new chapter in Safair’s history and we look forward to further being of service to South Africa’s flying public. Having close to 50 years of aviation experience, along with our proven track record of excellence within the aviation industry, the launch of FlySafair represents a natural evolution of our business. Although many people have commented that the airline industry is an unfavourable environment for new entrants at the moment, we would like to remind the public that we have been flying commercially for almost half a century already and we have no doubt that FlySafair will only serve to further grow the domestic market. Owing to our reputation of success, we assert that our new carrier will operate proficiently, and offer the highest standards of excellence and service to our customers - all at a price that they can afford. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again." , says the Chief Executive Officer of Safair, Dave Andrew.
23 September 2013 : Bookings are opened and the opening FlySafair flight special is set at R798 1-way either way from OR Tambo to Cape Town. Flights were meant to commence on the 17th October 2013. The plan was to start with 6 flights a day, and increase this to 10 JNB-CPT flights a day, and 60 a week in November.
23 August 2013 : FlySafair receives the go-ahead from SA's Air Service Licensing Council to start regular commercial operations in South Africa.
Here are the pilots who are going to be flying for FlySafair, next to their plane.
24 April 2015: FlySafair is hiring! The airline has put out three ads for vacant positions that they are looking to fill. The airline is looking for a Tech Service Specialist, Fault Analysts and Vice President of Finance. Qualified Avionic Technicians with 5-8 years’ experience on L381 & B737-300 and 400 aircraft can apply for the Tech Service Specialist position. Aviation Technologies Expert with a minimum of 5 years’ experience who has problem solving and troubleshooting skills can apply for the Fault Analysts position. To apply for the VP of Finance position you have to be a qualified CA (registered with SAICA) with 2 – 5 years post articles experience. The airline is also looking for the following: 1. L382 Captains - Requirements: L382 or C130 type rated; 4,000 hours total time; 750 command hours on type; and a current first class medical and must be younger than 60 / 2. L382 First Officers - Requirements: 2000 hours total time; Minimum 500 hours multi engine experience (preferably on turbo prop aircraft); and a current first class medical and must be younger than 60. If you meet these requirements and you want to apply for the any of the abovementioned positions, then email your cover letter and CV to email@example.com.
If you are looking for a career in the aviation industry you might want to consider a career with FlySafair. They even have an online application tool to make it as easy as pie! So you can either head to their website to enter online or send your CV through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The launch of FlySafair comes in the wake of attempts by Fastjet & Skywise Airlines to start operations in South Africa. This follows in the wake of 1time and Velvet Sky failing, thus removing capacity from the market. In the meantime PakAfrica Aviation is attempting to purchase the remnants of 1time Holdings and start operations.