South Africa's air travel market is growing rapidly, with four domestic low-cost carriers offering cheap flights in South Africa. These airlines offer limited destinations and routes nationwide, and only the national airline South African Airways serves all destinations.
The three major international airports, Johannesburg or Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Durban International Airport, are considered to be the gateway to South Africa's international flights and the most regular scheduled domestic flights within the country, and are cheaply offered by all. Cheap airlines on flights such as Kulula.com, Mango Airlines, 1Time Airlines and Velvet Sky Aviation. These three airports provide regular scheduled flights between three destinations each day and use this as a starting point to fly to smaller destinations. Due to the popularity of routes between the three airports, four domestic low-cost airlines provide daily flights to and from them.
There are many small airlines flying from major centers across the country, providing travelers with cheap flights across South Africa. Velvet Sky is a newcomer to the aviation industry and is the only flight that does not offer flights to smaller destinations and only offers flights between Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Durban King Shaka International Airport.
Kulula.com's routes range from Johannesburg International Airport to Lanseria Airport's George Airport, Port Elizabeth and other smaller airports and are the only airlines leading to Kruger National Park Airport. It does not offer flights to Bloemfontein Airport or East London Airport. 1 Time Airlines serves smaller destinations such as Johannesburg International Airport and Cape Town International Airport, such as George Airport and East London, as well as flights between Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg International Airport and Cape Town International Airport. 1time airlines do not offer flights to Bloemfontein. Mango Airlines operates only flights to smaller airports in Bloemfontein and Lansaria, and does not offer flights to Port Elizabeth, East London or George Airport.
In South Africa, any low-cost airline offering cheap flights is unable to serve the smallest airports in Hoedspruit, Mthatha, Palaborwa, Polokwane, Richards Bay, Pilanesberg, Upington and Kimberley airports. These airports are only serviced by national airline South African Airways and its subsidiaries SAA Express and SA Airlink.
Passengers wishing to fly to a smaller destination airport in South Africa will need to ensure that their preferred travel dates are consistent with the schedule of airlines serving these airports, as flights are intermittently scheduled according to demand and are unavailable daily.
It is also often arranged to schedule flights to these destinations in the morning or evening to accommodate business travelers, and these times need to be considered when scheduling a connecting flight.