Discount Airlines in Africa
Air traffic in Central and West Africa is still very unstable and many airlines appear on the market, only to dissolve a few month later. This is why there has not been a development of reliable airlines until today. With the change in politics and less wars in Africa, this might become possible in the future.
There also strong restrictions in many African countries, making it difficult for airlines to set up operations to other countries within Africa and to provide good connections within the continent.
The discount airlines described below are stable and safe. Although many people think that low-fare airlines are not as safe as others, especially in Africa, this is not true. Cheap prices are created by having less service, no drinks and food for free on board and faster turn-around times.
Point Afrique has cheap flights from France to Mali.
Royal Air Maroc, and its partners feature cheap flights
Many of the local airlines have online specials and/or discounted rates if you book flights on their website. Most of the local carriers have the “E-Ticket” option which is cheaper. This means that you will not be sent a printed ticket, but you will be able to check in with your Passport or Identity Document directly at the check-in counter on the day of the flight.
While there are many travel agents in South Africa who advertise that they specialise in discounted tickets, it is still often cheaper to book direct with the airline or on their website.
– Kulula.com was the first sub-Saharan low-fare airline. It is based in Johannesburg, South Africa and operates to domestic destinations, like Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and the Kruger Mpumalanga Airport near Nelspruit and the Kruger National Park. it recently started flights to Harare in Zimbabwe and Windhoek in Namibia from Johannesburg. It uses leased aircraft from Safair. It is the daughter company of South African airline Comair, which is an affiliate of British Airways.
– 1Time is also based in Johannesburg and in strong competition with kulula.com. The airline also operates flights within the country, its main destinations being Cape Town, Durban and George.
– FlyMango.com is a new low cost airline backed by South African Airways. Launched on 31 Oct 2006, it will fly between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Bloemfontein.
– Interlink Airlines has flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and between Johannesburg and Kruger Park.
These airlines are reliable and offer low fares. You should however be sure to check prices at other South African airlines and keep in mind that you will have to face a lower service level when flying low-fare. Some of the other airlines do have special discount fares at some times:
– South African Airways
– Nationwide frequently matches the price of the discount airlines.