Johannesburg – Local and international travellers who have not yet arranged their travel detail during the soccer World Cup can expect to pay up to double the prevailing rates from June until the final whistle in July.
A snap survey by Fin24.com has revealed that domestic and regional flight prices have risen significantly during the high-demand period of major soccer matches. Some flight prices to Durban and Cape Town from Johannesburg late in June and early July have more than doubled.
To catch the Group G match between Brazil and Portugal in Durban on June 25, low-cost airline kulula.com will charge R2 088 (including taxes) for a return flight from Johannesburg. The return flight would deliver passengers at midnight in Johannesburg.
Mango passengers will pay R2 454.50 to arrive in Durban at 07:00 for the game at 16:00. 1Time charges R2 498 for arrival at 11:00 and departure at 21:00.
South African Airways has run out of affordable seats for that particular game.
If price is of no importance, an SAA return flight in the “Select Voyager Upgradeable” segment will set you back R4 420. In addition to that a passenger would need to find accommodation as there will be no return flights after the game.
Comparable travel tickets on May 22 are R1 138 (kulula), R903 (SAA), Mango (R822) and 1Time (R791).
Travelling to the final game of the 2010 tournament in Johannesburg from Durban will set back the soccer enthusiast R1 588 on kulula and R2 879 on SAA. Capetonians will have to pay kulula R3 438 to get to Johannesburg and R3 985 on SAA. Both groups of travellers will have to spend the night in Johannesburg.
Passengers flying from Johannesburg to be in Cape Town to watch England take on Algeria in the evening will get 1Time tickets for R2 068 and will have to sleep over. Mango charges R1 972.50 for the same luxury while kulula tickets cost R2 238.
Travelling the same route currently costs R1 278 on 1Time while Mango is happy with R1 300.
Another interesting comparison is that of international flights to South Africa during the tournament.
An SAA passenger departing from Los Angeles on June 10 to be in time for the USA versus England game on June 12 will have to go through London. For that junket the cost will be $4 451 (R34 718) returning to the US on July 18, just before the semi-finals.
Those flying SAA from Paris on June 9 will pay in excess of €5 600 (R56 000), returning on June 25 after the end of the first round. An Air France flight departing from Paris on June 9 and returning on June 23 will set the traveller back €2 804.
But Air France’s prices are slightly lower during the World Cup than currently. A flight from Paris between May 26 and 31 will cost €2 900.
An SAA flight from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from June 11 will cost 11 000 Brazilian Real (R44 700). The return date is June 26.
Travelling from many African countries can be tricky and more expensive than from anywhere else. For instance, you’d pay $2 800 (R22 000) to get to Johannesburg from Accra between June 11 and 24.
Kulula charges more than British Airways from Windhoek in Namibia to Johannesburg between June 11 and 21.
Comair chief executive Gidon Novick acknowledged that this should not be the case, saying that BA must be pricier than Kulula and that it was an error. The prices had not been changed at the time of writing.