While domestic travel has quickly returned to pre-pandemic levels in the last year, air travel ticket prices have risen by up to 54% compared to 2019.
Also read: Cape Town International Airport jet fuel crisis stabilises
This price increase can be attributed to high fuel prices, increased demand and a rapid decline in airline capacity due to pandemic-related airline liquidations.
According to a study conducted by Discovery Bank in collaboration with Visa, the airline industry experienced various airline liquidations in 2022 as a result of the pandemic, which eliminated 40% of domestic airline capacity virtually overnight.
The increase in ticket prices was exacerbated by an increase in aviation fuel costs of more than 80% in 2022 compared to 2021.
According to Discovery, the combination of reduced supply, higher fuel prices and increased demand for travel has resulted in South Africans paying 30% to 55% more for domestic flights than they did in 2019.
Flights between Cape Town and Durban increased by 54%, followed by 41% increases between Johannesburg and Cape Town and 35% increases between Durban and Johannesburg.
The Department of Transportation has also published changes to airport tariffs for 2023, which will result in price increases for airlines using the country’s airport facilities.
Linden Birns, the owner and managing director of Plane Talking, stated that airlines in South Africa are acutely aware of their customers’ sensitivity to increases in the cost of air travel, and as a result, they try to mitigate and absorb increases – whether they are user charges, fuel, interest rates, or items adversely affected by the USD/ZAR exchange rate.
Travel via bus increases in South Africa as flight prices soar