Low-cost airline FlySafair has cancelled some flights on its Cape Town/George route and will contact passengers who have already booked seats on these flights to arrange for refunds.
The affected flights were due to take off between August 23 and December 10.
FlySafair announced what it calls a flexi route model that will see it decrease capacity on certain routes during months of low demand and increase it as demand returns in the holiday season.
This, it says, is done in an effort to keep selling its flight tickets at low prices, starting from R499.
It says this has been carried out successfully in international markets to control costs and maintain competition in the industry.
In line with this approach FlySafair will withdraw from the Cape Town to George route from August 23 and will resume this service on December 10. This means that some passengers who have already booked flights on this route between this period, will have to look for an alternative carrier as these flights are being cancelled.
FlySafair said it will contact affected customers via email or SMS over the next few days to arrange refunds “and personally apologise for the inconvenience”.
FlySafair CEO Elmar Conradie said demand for domestic travel differs from route to route depending on the reasons people need to travel. “If the aircraft is only half full, we start to operate at a loss, which prevents us from maintaining our low fares. Adjusting route frequency is a strategic business decision that allows us to continue to offer low fares to all South Africans.”
It will increase its frequency on other routes where there is high demand, FlySafair said, without naming the routes.
The airline said it will by the end of the year have increased its fleet from five to eight operating aircraft serving six destinations, allowing it to to increase frequency on busy summer routes, such as those from Johannesburg to coastal destinations. It is also in the process of upgrading its fleet of Boeing 737-400s to Boeing 737-800s, and will have three of these in the skies in time for the December holidays.