- CAPA Analysis
- Schedule Analysis
- Low Cost Carriers
- Economics & Trade
- Print Summary
- IATA Code
- International Airlines serving this country (excluding codeshares)
South Africa has three major international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. All continents have direct flights to Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa, which also serves as the major international gateway to the rest of the African continent. The aviation industry in South Africa is undergoing rapid expansion on the growth of business and leisure market travel which has spurred a significant infrastructure development program at the country’s major airports. The Airports Company South Africa is the operator of 10 of the country’s busiest airports including the three main international airports and handles over 18 million departing passengers annually and 200,000 aircraft landings.
Airports in South Africa
1,214 total articles
26 total articles
South African Airways has become the latest carrier to join the embrace of the Gulf carriers, signing a codeshare agreement with Etihad which adds 22 new codeshare connections between Africa and the Middle East and follows another important codeshare agreement with India’s Jet Airways. The agreements mark a shift for cash-strapped SAA towards recognition that as an end-of-line carrier it must develop a more virtual long-haul network. Such partnerships are part of SAA’s long term turnaround strategy and allow the carrier to extend its network without the need to commit capital to expensive long-haul aircraft.
SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenthout said the codeshare agreements would grow the carrier’s revenue, with initial expectations that the Etihad partnership would add about ZAR100 million (USD11 million) a year to revenue.
Meanwhile Etihad will increase its already comprehensive African coverage with the addition of SAA which improves access to the continent’s biggest economy.
Air Mauritius is well on the road to recovery, a year into a five-year plan that aims to implement a new business model that restructures its operations to become less dependent on traditional, but flagging, European markets and instead turn the airline’s focus to the growth markets around the Indian Ocean Rim and Asia.
A seven step recovery plan launched in Feb-2012 as profits crumbled into losses saw Air Mauritius undertake a major network consolidation which involved withdrawing its services to Germany, Italy and Switzerland as well as service reductions to China, Australia and Africa. But, with its network brought back into balance, and profitability restored, Air Mauritius has resumed a growth path with plans to launch a direct service to Beijing and reinstating some suspended routes and capacity in key markets.
South African Airlines will spell out its future in a strategic plan to be presented to the South African Government in early Apr-2013. But history suggests that implementation of a new strategy is far from assured at the carrier which suffers from extensive government meddling.
A new CEO is also expected to be appointed by the end of Mar-2013, replacing Siza Mzimela who resigned, along with several top executives in Oct-2012 in the wake of a mass board resignation the previous month, citing a “breakdown in the relationship with the shareholder”, testifying to the deep divisions between management.
Details are emerging of what led to those events, with media reports suggesting a decision by Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, to block a ZAR10 billion (USD1.08 billion) decision to purchase a fleet of A350 aircraft to replace the carrier’s A340-600s was at the centre of the falling out between the board and management.
Meanwhile SAA survives on the basis of a ZAR5 billion (USD540 million) government guarantee granted on 02-Oct-2012 for a two year period effective 01-Sep-2012. The guarantee is intended to enable SAA to borrow on the financial markets and remain solvent.
fastjet is pushing ahead with expansion plans to create a pan-African low-cost carrier network, adding two more routes to its Tanzania domestic network in Mar-2013, applying to operate its Fly540 between Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg and continuing to negotiate a deal to buy South African LCC 1time from its liquidators.
London Stock Exchange-listed fastjet will launch daily services to Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar and Mwanza on 18-Mar-2013, increasing its network by 50%. The carrier launched in Nov-2012 with two routes from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza and Kilimanjaro.
fastjet acquired the Fly540 aviation business of British-based African-focused investment firm Lonrho in Jun-2012, including its operations in Kenya, Tanzania, Angola and Ghana. The Fly540 operation will be progressively rebranded as fastjet and adopt its hybrid LCC model. The carrier has a licensing and consulting agreement with easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup, which also holds a 5% stake in the company
The carrier is, however, dealing with a raft of claims relating to the troubled takeover of Five Forty Aviation operations ranging from outstanding debts, including unpaid aircraft leases, airport fees, bank guarantees and taxes.
Nearly four months after the mass resignation of the South African Airlines board over unwelcome government interference, followed soon after by the departure of its CEO and several senior executives, the carrier has plunged to new lows with the suspension of its acting CEO.
Vuyisile Kona was suspended from his job on 11-Feb-2013 while “certain allegations that have come to the attention of the board” are investigated.
CEO of SAA LCC subsidiary Mango, Nico Bezuidenhout, has taken over as interim CEO, the third head of the company since 2009. He will now lead the committee developing the strategic plan that is now due by the end of Mar-2013.
Fastjet has secured its entry into the Kenyan market and its first expansion outside Tanzania and access to the key Nairobi hub by throwing a lifeline to collapsed local carrier Jetlink Express.
The two carriers signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 28-Jan-2013 to create a joint venture allowing fastjet to launch its brand in Kenya in the next few months.
Fastjet launched two domestic routes from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in Nov-2012 with A319 aircraft, rebranding and refleeting its newly acquired Fly540 operation in the country. The carrier also owns the Fly540 regional operations in Angola and Ghana.
The bigger Kenyan market will provide a strong launch pad for further Eastern African expansion, including the development of links with international carriers which are already being explored.