With travel somewhat picking up and President Cyril Ramaphosa moving the country into adjusted alert level 3, South African airlines are capitalising on air travel demand by offering new routes.

Low-cost carrier FlySafair is one of the latest airlines to launch a new route. The airline will offer flights between Bloemfontein and Cape Town from July 30, 2021.

The route will fly twice a week, on Fridays and Sundays.

Flight FA840 departs Cape Town at 7 am and arrives in Bloemfontein at 8.35 am, while flight FA 841 departs at 9 am and lands at 10.50 am in Cape Town on Fridays.

On Sundays, flight FA842 leaves Cape Town at 11.15 am and lands at 12.50 pm. Flight FA843 leaves Bloemfontein at 1.30 pm and arrives at 3.05 pm

Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer of FlySafair, said airfares on the new route start from R721.

“Across the world, we’re seeing domestic carriers like ourselves leading the recovery of the airline industry. There are, however, a number of factors hindering the rebound in the South African market that are beyond our control. By offering our customers more options and flexibility when it comes to routes, we hope to make a sustainable impact on the local industry’s recovery,” he said.

Gordon said the airline foresaw ‘a great deal of potential growth’ on this new route, especially with the agricultural sector, medical and law professions, and students attending school in and around Bloemfontein.

“The health of airlines is a great indicator of economic prosperity in a country. According to IATA’s Value of Aviation report from 2019, carriers like FlySafair play a pivotal role in economic growth by creating connections for the free flow of trade, people, investment and ideas. The report noted that in 2018, 472 000 jobs were supported by the air transport sector and it contributed $9.4-billion (R138.5-billion) to the country’s GDP.

“There’s a long road ahead of us. As members of the travel industry, we need to continue to inspire confidence in our customers and find new ways of enticing them to travel,” added Gordon.

Meanwhile, once travel between South Africa and Mauritius is permitted, FlySafair aims to operate twice-weekly flights between the two destinations.

The airline got its rights application approved to operate flights between South Africa and Mauritius earlier this year. The route will launch later this year, pending international regulations and the current travel ban by Mauritius.

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