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Cheap flights survey

20 July 2007 flights
surveyed on 23 June 2007

Comparison of flight prices from Cape Town to Johannesburg

1time airline

British Airways

Kulula Airline

Mango Airline









Isn't it good to know you're getting something back from all those taxes you're paying - but it's probably not as good a feeling if, like most South Africans, you're paying taxes and not flying Mango or if Mango's low prices drive competitors out of business leading to higher prices in the long-run (see reader's comment near the bottom).

Mango Airlines

Mango Airline is by far the cheapest

We examined flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg leaving on the 20th July 2007 between 1729 and 2031, and Mango Airlines offered the cheapest flight at R301 - it could have charged R100 more and still been the cheapest. The Mango flight was flight number JE178 leaving Cape Town at 2015 and arriving in Johannesburg at 2220.

Nationwide Airlines' site problems

The above comparison of flight prices between Cape Town and Johannesburg was carried out at 0630am on a Saturday. Nationwide Airlines' website ground to a halt with the message: "We are experiencing high network traffic and cannot process your request at this time. Please try again later." Sorry Nationwide, but an explanation of high network traffic at 0630am on a Saturday morning is difficult to believe.

British-Airways loses its gloss

SouthAfrica.TO has written extensively about the edge that British Airways has over SAA. We still believe that British Airways offers the better overall flight, however recent experiences have taken the gloss off our British Airways feelings.

Terrorism takes its toll

Whoever thought that as a result of terrorist attacks we would not be able to wash our hair? As a result of increased South African airport security on international flights, with the restrictions on LAGS (Liquids, Aerosols and Gels), some 500 litres a day of LAGS have been confiscated at Cape Town International Airport, Johannesburg Airport and Durban Airport...this has happily reduced now to 230 litres a day.

All Blacks' gruelling trip

Many South Africans have caught flights from Johannesburg to New York, and know what a dwaal you're in after flying for so long and crossing so many time zones. Just before the Super 14 finals, we wrote about the jet lag which the New Zealand teams would experience; and that the All Blacks faced a similarly long flight from Auckland to Johannesburg, and on to Durban. Now, we wrote a similar summary of the All Blacks gruelling trip to Durban (not that they shoud expect too much sympathy in South Africa!).

Lose weight now, ask SAA how!

Want to lose weight? Fly SAA - they may just forget to pack your meal! We write about an SAA flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, the new automated check-in machines and how an air hostess got "eina sore".

KLM orders new generation planes

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is sprucing up its fleet and at the same time reducing its fuel burn by 3%, with an order for 7 new generation Boeing 737-700s. Read about it at KLM flights new planes.

Airbus A380Fancy an Airbus A380?

Airbus did a roaring trade at the Paris Air Show, including getting thirteen orders for its double-decker A380 plane - astonishingly, one of the orders was for private use! There should be enough space for the owner to put in his own tennis court. Airbus also pulled in 172 orders for its A350 XWB (a plane representing its second attempt to compete against Boeing's 787 Dreamliner - see article relating to 777).

Short term gain - long term pain

One of our staff wrote about how much he loved Mango Airline's low prices, as it made him feel good to know that other taxpayers were subsidising his flight!! Iain responded as follows: "Short term gain - long term pain. The problem with the above is as soon as the commercial viability of these fares (consistently available as in Mango's case) causes more efficient profit centric private enterprise to cease to exist, you then create a Monopoly. Government will not have to subsidise SAA anymore as there is no choice for you the taxpayer to travel and you are forced to pay for it. The subsidy then reverts from the Government (your tax Rands) directly back to your disposable after tax Rands. Monopolies additionally create inefficiencies that will drive the fares up further. Remember the days you were paying R2500 consistently to fly the same route? So instead of your tax money subsidising your fares - your real money will, you'll have no choice. It's clever that Government's turn around plan might be to get you to pay for it, by eradicating the competition. But then again Government will have the cost of upgrading many more roads and hospitals. Competition and private enterprise is healthy, the best benefits are reaped by you the consumer. Never before have as many South Africans taken to the skies, the benefits to the overall economy are enormous. Fares need to be sustainable. Yip we all might end up paying a little more but it will be a lot less than what you might end up being forced to pay."

SAASAA adds new flights to Nairobi

South African Airways is to add three new flights a week, on its route between Johannesburg and Nairobi. [as reported by Business Daily Africa], which is in line with SAA's claims that African routes are profitable (SAA made R500m profit in 2006 on African routes). This will mean SAA is operating daily afternoon flights between Johannesburg and Nairobi and morning flights on Wednesdays, Friday and Saturdays. The move will increase competition for passengers with Kenya Airways (traditionally African airliners have faced little competition).

New routes for SouthAfrica.TO

We are constantly seeking to expand our routes, to ensure that our readers are fully informed when deciding to fly to, from or within South Africa, in the last week we have added covereage of flights from Johannesburg to Nairobi.

Airlines which used to fly to Zimbabwe

Economies which are expanding see more airlines joining the party, existing airlines adding flights to routes and spesialised flights starting to smaller towns. World economies rarely see the opposite occuring as not many leaders put in place policies which discourage productivity. Airlines which no longer fly to Zimbabwe are Air France , Austrian Airlines, Balkan Airlines, KLM of the Netherlands, Lufthansa, Quantas, Swissair and TAP. Airlines still operating flights from Johannesburg to Harare are South African Airways, British Airways, Kulula, Air Zimbabwe and Air Botswana. Many of Zimbabwe's citizens are now found in Gauteng whiling their days away as criminals, gardeners, maids or begging in the streets; and spending their evenings thinking about when life was good in Zimbabwe.

Mango Airlines slowly mastering the web

From day one when their site bombed out from all the web traffic coming in, Mango Airlines have struggled with their online presence. It took ages before they were number one on a google search for their own name. In an industry where most tickets are sold online it's critical to master your web strategy. It was therefore rather heartening to see on the 23rd June, for the first time, that Mango Airlines is using google advertising - this ad popped up:

"Fly Mango. Book now for an awesome deal. Nation wide coverage for less."

Mango should note that the words "Nation wide" is a bit risky to use in South Africa, given that you've got an airline called Nationwide. Also, Mango Airlines certainly don't always charge less as advertised, in fact Nationwide Airlines has more often than not had lower prices than Mango in our Cheap Flights Survey.

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