BUSINESS DAY SPOTLIGHT
PODCAST | FlySafair eyes growth in turbulent economy
Mudiwa Gavaza speaks to Kirby Gordon, chief marketing officer at FlySafair
The recovery of low cost air travel amidst a economic downturn is the focus in this edition of Business Day Spotlight.
Host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Kirby Gordon, FlySafair’s chief marketing officer.
FlySafair is the largest domestic airline in SA. According to Gordon, the company commands about 60% of SA’s domestic travel market, which also has players such as SAA, Lift, Airlink and CemAir.
Gordon says the company is now operating at about 75%-80% of the business it was doing before the Covid-19 pandemic. But even then, FlySafair has seen its business boosted by the departure of airlines including British Airways, Kulula and Mango from the local market. Despite this fall in competition, Gordon argues that the industry has recovered to the same capacity it had for the pandemic.
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That growth has seen FlySafair reaching 37 aircraft in operation, with 14 having been bought in the past 14 months.
Gordon explains that the economic factors that affect their business the most are the rand’s strength or weakness, given the need to constantly import aeroplane parts from overseas; and the price of oil, which feeds into the cost of jet fuel.
As such more than 40% of an airline ticket price is down to the oil price.
Key points include an understanding of what the domestic air travel sector can tell us about the state of the economy and health of consumer pockets; what the market looks like with fewer companies offering domestic air travel; how FlySafair is coping with demand, as well as its current strategy and plans for the future.
Business Day Spotlight is a TimesLIVE Production.
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