The latest information reaching Businesstech Africa is that airline passengers are set to dig deeper in their pockets due to an expected rise in prices.
Media reports suggest that the cost of passenger air travel has risen in South Africa at least to the tune of 50% over the past year.
This is credited to pent-up demand and the abrupt closure of a number of routes and low-cost airline operators such as Comair.
At the same time, the increase in air fares is based on pressure on the sector and that data has been made public by Statistic South Africa.
The report released this week depicts a picture of air passenger growth by 49% as of May last year and 2022 – the increase is seen as one of the biggest over 12 months.
A number of economists also caution that the closure of Comair earlier this month is set to impact the already bad situation.
Comair operated British Airways’ domestic flights including low-cost airliner Kulula, and the company was accountable for 40% of domestic airline capacity.
Several economists and analysts working with the Bureau of Economic Research believe that ticket prices are set to rise.
“At least in the near term, air ticket prices are likely to spike. As seen with the reduced routes being flown by South African Airways, over time, other operators will fill the gap left by Comair,” said the analysts.
“However, over the short term, higher ticket prices will add to domestic inflationary pressures.”
According to Moneyweb, SAFlyer editor Guy Leitch foresees a massive growth in ticket prices.
“So that’s going to force the prices up a huge amount and on top of that, we’ve had enormous price increases because of the fuel price increases,” said Leitch.
“So, although there’s going to be a removal of 40% of the supply, the demand is virtually going to drop off while a new equilibrium is established. So it’s going to price a lot of the travellers out of the market.”
However, passengers could find relief in the development that the country’s youngest airline, Lift, plans to expand its fleet by three times by the end of 2022.