Domestic travel showing signs of growth as FlySafair and Cemair increase flight offerings

Travellers queue at Cape Town International Airport. Picture: David Ritchie/Independent Newspapers

Travellers queue at Cape Town International Airport. Picture: David Ritchie/Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 12, 2024


The South African aviation industry is showing signs of recovery and travellers are gaining access to more local destinations.

FlySafair announced the addition of an additional flight to its existing route between OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and Bram Fisher International Airport in Bloemfontein.

Cemair also launched new flights between King Phalo Airport in East London and Cape Town.

According to FlySafair chief marketing officer Kirby Gordon, after a year of regional expansion, the airline is taking this year to look internally and focus on optimising its existing routes and processes.

“We are pleased by the demand we have seen on this short route and look forward to the opportunity to provide consumers with additional flight options,” said Gordon.

FlySafair said the new Wednesday afternoon flight would join the existing Friday and Sunday options, giving business and leisure travellers a mid-week option.

“The flight will depart OR Tambo International Airport at 2.30pm and last an hour and 10 minutes. Flights will then leave Bram Fischer International Airport at 4.15pm, arriving in Johannesburg at 5.20pm,” said the economy carrier.

Meanwhile, speaking to on Cemair’s launch, King Phalo Airport’s local airport manager, Nicola Smith, said the launch of FlyCemAir services to East London was a welcome addition to King Phalo Airport, improving the much-needed capacity on one of South Africa’s most popular routes, East London to Cape Town.

She said King Phalo Airport was ready to service the additional capacity that this route would bring and had begun an infrastructure maintenance programme which would be implemented in a phased approach.

“Domestic travel contributes substantially to Airport Company South Africa’s airport network traffic.

“Air services continue to play a vital role in the province, and we are excited to drive East London is a destination of choice connecting people to places, dreams and opportunities,” said Smith.