Sky-high: Flights to and from South Africa more expensive than ever


Since the relaxing of lockdown restrictions, South Africans are catching flights again.

According to data from Airports Company South Africa, the number of international passengers arriving at OR Tambo International Airport in the first quarter of 2021 increased by around 20% compared to the quarter prior. Meanwhile, international arrivals in March were at an all-time high.

ALSO READ: Flight tickets between UK and SA can now cost you as much as R65 000


Speaking to Business Insider, GM of Corporate Traveller, Oz Desai, said that the demand for travel to and from South Africa is recovering quicker than the supply.

“We are currently seeing a combination of pent-up demand and limited supply,” Desai told the publication.

This situation is similar to when Comair’s British Airways and flights removed 40% of the local airline capacity in March, making it that more expensive to travel.

“As a result of the Covid pandemic, some airlines have stopped flying internationally, while others have not returned to full operation yet. Pricing will always be more competitive when demand is less than supply. That is currently not the case,” explained Desai.


Another issue driving flight prices out of the roof is the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.

“Regardless of supply and demand, the oil price will likely have a huge impact on airfares. Whereas previously airlines used to review prices every Tuesday, they are now continuously adjusting fares,” Desai said.

He also highlighted that it is difficult to say whether demand and supply will ever return to pre-pandemic levels.

“It is important to keep in mind, however, that the travel industry is recovering from what has arguably been the most challenging time in the travel and tourism [sector’s] history. This will undoubtedly lead to some unexpected situations. Our industry is well on the way to full recovery, but it will take a little time.”


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