In parliament yesterday (3 May 2007), public enterprises minister Alec Erwin described Port Elizabeth as being a "marginally profitable" destination for South African Airways (which is owned by the South African government), giving the impression that flights to Port Elizabeth are not commercially viable for South African Airways: "The Port Elizabeth route is marginal [to SAA], but it is crucial both to tourism and the industrial base in the Eastern Cape. SAA is working hard to turn the route around."
However, 1time airline's Rodney James, said that 1time's flights to Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Airport had shown "phenomenal growth", causing the airline to increase capacity (subsequent to this article being written, 1time went into liquidation).
1time airline, British Airways, Kulula Airline, Nationwide (only weekends) and South African Airways operate flights from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth (subsequent to this article, Nationwide & 1time airline went into liquidation, and Kulula quit flying to Port Elizabeth).
1time airline, British Airways, Kulula Airline, Nationwide (weekends only) and South African Airways all operate flights from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth (subsequent to this article being written, 1time and Nationwide went into liquidation, and Kulua quit flying to PE).
British Airways and South African Airways operate flights from Durban to Port Elizabeth (Kulula Airways & Nationwide quit flying the route subsequent to this article being written).