Safair launches low-cost carrier

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Safair has been granted approval by South Africa’s Air Service Licensing Council to launch its own domestic scheduled operation, FlySafair.

Offering up to 10 daily flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, FlySafair will service the route with two Boeing 737-400s. The low-cost carrier is set to officially launch tickets sales in September and it expects to be fully operational by the last quarter of 2013.

“Although many people have commented that the airline industry is an unfavourable environment for new entrants at the moment, we would like to remind the public that we have been flying commercially for almost half a century already, and we have no doubt that FlySafair will only serve to further grow the domestic market,” said Dave Andrew, CEO of Safair.

As well as offering commercial flights, Safair also provides aircraft for leasing, and conducts maintenance, special operations, chartering and training services. The airline has served as a commercial support partner for most of South Africa’s local airlines over the past few years, where it was contracted to operate the other airlines’ schedules when an aircraft was out of service due to technical reasons or crew shortages.

Safair has a 75% South African shareholding, with the other 25% owned by the Irish ASL Aviation Group.