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Cheap flights survey

6 July 2007 flights
surveyed on 9 June 2007

Comparison of flight prices from Cape Town to Durban

1time airline

British Airways

Kulula Airline

Mango Airline

Nationwide

SAA

R1 199

R1 608

R869

R851

R688

R1374

Nationwide Airline is cheapest

Nationwide are back (if they ever went away)

We examined flights from Cape Town to Durban leaving on the 7th July 2007 between 1344 and 2031, and Nationwide flight CE627, costing R688, was the cheapest; the flight leaves Cape Town at 1450 and arrives in Durban at 1650.

Nationwide's cheap flights

After an incredible run of offering the cheapest flights, Nationwide were knocked from their pedestal last week by 1time airline. We were wondering when we'd see them back on top - the answer - a week later. For the record here is the list of surveys for which Nationwide offered the cheapest flights:

Survey Date

Route

Cost of Nationwide flight

28 April 2007 Cheap Flights Survey

flights from Cape Town to Durban

R484

12 May 2007 Cheap Flights Survey

flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg

R481

19 May 2007 Cheap Flights Survey

flights from Durban to Cape Town

R600

26 May 2007 Cheap Flights Survey

flights from Johannesburg to Durban

R596

9 June 2007 Cheap Flights Survey

flights from Cape Town to Durban

R688

Nationwide has offered the cheapest flights in 5 out of the last 7 surveys conducted. The 2 surveys where they did not offer the cheapest flights were:

Survey Date

Route

Cost of Nationwide flight

5 May 2007 Cheap Flights Survey

flights from Durban to Johannesburg

R372

2 June 2007 Cheap Flights Survey

flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town

R869

Well done Nationwide Airlines, for keeping flight prices in South Africa down.

Massive increase in the cost of flights

When we last surveyed the cost of flights on the Cape Town to Durban route, on the 28th April, the average cost of the flight was R666; whilst in this survey the average cost of the flight is R1098. This represents a 65% increase in flight prices over a 2 month periods, something else to keep Tito Mboweni awake at night in his battle to keep inflation below 6% in South Africa.

GreedyOR Tambo Airport labelled greedy

The International Airline Transport Association's AGM recently took place in Vancouver. Delegates at the AGM heard that the airport companies for Johannesburg International (i.e. ACSA), Auckland, Sydney, Hong Kong and Seoul have returned profit margins of more than 40%; and at the same time the cost saving initiatives which airlines have implemented have been wiped out by the high costs airports are charging for landing. According to Giovanni Bisignani (IATA director general and CEO), “Too many airports still operate as happy monopolies”. This is certainly the case in South Africa, where ACSA makes massive profits, whilst baggage handling is slow and ground equipment is often not ready by the time aircrafts have landed. Not that ACSA should be blamed, they're simply doing what any monopolist would do - it is the responsibility of government to instil a competitive environment in airport management.

SAA's lack of focus amongst its board is compounded by weaknesses in logistics, accounting, marketing and pricing

Early in May we reported how Alec Erwin cracked the whip for South African Airways , giving them 2 years to turn the company around. Now SAA has set up an 18 month plan to restructure, which includes retrenching 30% of management and grounding 6 Coleman-era Boeing 747 aircraft which were operating Cape Town to London flights and Johannesburg to London flights. We think SAA's plan is a good start, but does not cover the weaknesses SAA has in logistics, pricing, accounting, marketing and the lack of focus amongst its board.

Risque advertising

There are some weird and wonderful methods airlines are using to get themselves onto people's radar screens. Last week we wrote about FlyPink Airline, which is trying to entice ladies to go on shopping sprees with them to
Paris. And how does Silverjet Airline get people to notice them. By using lesbians in the advertising of course. The closest we've got to this in South Africa is Axejet's deoderant advertisements.

Lemon of the week : And yet again it's Mango Airlines

lemon-of-the-weeki


Some of our readers' Mangos are starting to get a bit sour, and taste more like lemons than Mangos. Just like three weeks ago, two weeks ago and last week; Mango has once again won itself a lemon. This comment by Linda on our Mango Airlines site: "How must a person rate mango if their service is so bad cause I booked a round trip to Durban for the 06/06/2007 and then the operator goes and books it for 01/06/2007 when I asked to speak to the manager he tells me he first needs to listen to tapes and is refusing to refund me. I'm really dissapointed in Mango's operational services. I would like my money back and i need to book a flight urgently to Durban but i will rather go ahead with 1 time cause their operators are more professional and they know what they are doing."

Cheapest flight from Johannesburg to London

We did a snap survey of flights from Johannesburg to London, and British Airways came in with the lowest airline ticket prices:

Air France

British Airways

Emirates

KLM

Nationwide

Virgin

R6 817

R4 264

R6 252

R17 855

R5 829

R4 824

New routes covered

SouthAfrica.TO has increased its coverage of flights from the UK to South Africa. We now have coverage of:

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