- Fares for local and international flights have skyrocketed since pandemic-induced travel restrictions were lifted.
- Soaring fuel prices associated with Comair’s demise made domestic flights more expensive while overseas travel was blighted by understaffed airports and carriers.
- But there is some relief on the horizon, according to Cheapflights.co.za, which expects international fares to drop 26% between September and November compared to the previous three months.
- Domestic flights will also be cheaper, but not as much.
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South Africans planning to travel abroad in the coming months will likely see flight prices fall by a quarter from winter fares. Domestic flights will also be cheaper, but not as much, according to data from global travel research site Cheapflights.co.za.
Flying both locally and internationally hasn’t been easy or cheap since the lifting of pandemic-induced restrictions earlier this year.
On the global stage, carriers and airports, understaffed due to massive cutbacks at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been overwhelmed by the resurgence in travel. This was particularly noticeable in Europe, where holidaymakers encountered chaotic airports, lost luggage, major delays and thousands of canceled flights.
In South Africa, the disappearance of Comair, which locally operated Kulula and British Airways, in June considerably reduced available seat capacity. With domestic demand suddenly outstripping supply and soaring fuel prices, flights within South Africa have become much more expensive and scarcer, especially for last-minute travellers.
But there is some relief on the horizon, according to Cheapflights.co.za. Fuel prices have fallen, Europe is heading into its quieter winter season and South African airlines have managed to bring more capacity online to fill the void left by Comair’s liquidation.
International flights to long-haul destinations between September and November are expected to be 26% cheaper than between June and August, according to flight search data provided by Cheapflights.co.za. The international round-trip price for the spring appears to be around R12,700 on average, according to the travel site, compared to over R17,000 during the winter period.
“Passengers who plan their trips strategically and travel out of peak season this year can rack up savings while continuing to take a cross-country trip or take that much-desired trip abroad,” Laure said. Bornet, GM of KAYAK EMEA, which operates Cheapflights.co.za.
“There are always seasonal changes in flight prices that travelers can take advantage of. This spring, flight prices are currently seeing an even bigger drop compared to what we saw before the pandemic.
South Africans traveling within the country can also expect to pay less over the next three months, although these seasonal changes are not as pronounced as internationally.
According to Cheapflights.co.za, domestic flights between September and November will likely be 12% cheaper than between June and August, with travelers expected to pay around R2,300 on average for a return trip this spring.