SAA stops Durban, Cape Town flights

2010-10-06 09:59

Johannesburg – South African Airways will stop all its flights between Durban and Cape Town.

Its low-cost airline Mango will serve the route in future.  

Traffic between Durban and Cape Town is largely limited to tourists and it is price sensitive, SAA spokesperson Fani Zulu told It makes more sense to leave the route to Mango, which can compete with other low-cost airlines.

According to an agreement with Mango, SAA passengers will earn Voyager miles and will also receive other benefits – like in-flight meals – on these flights.

SAA CEO Siza Mzimela said the airline wants to employ Mango more efficiently, so that SAA planes are available for routes in Africa.

The African routes are the airline’s most profitable and SAA wants to expand its capabilities on the continent. But SAA does not plan to withdraw from the local market, Mzimela added.


For business news in Afrikaans, go to

  • Moza - 2010-10-06 10:15

    Guess its British Airways for me! Mango is like sitting on a low end public bus! that airline is absolut Crap!

  • LittleNinjaDevil - 2010-10-06 10:19

    well it actually makes financial sense to me. if something is not profitable for the company then they must give it to others who can benefit. First thing SAA has ever done like a business not a charity organisation

  • Dave - 2010-10-06 10:20

    This is bull. I refuse to fly with low cost no space airlines. I make a trip from Cape Town to DBN at least 3 x a year. Now they are forcing me to fly BA at 2x the cost. Stoopid financial decisions that inconvenience others.

  • Berti - 2010-10-06 10:21

    Great to see they are starting to run SAA as a business. if the route is not commercially viable then why continue. couls a year withour a bailout actually happen within our lifetime???

  • mike - 2010-10-06 10:24

    So SAA gets tax payer monet for a bail out a few times a decade then ends up not flying between second and third lagest cities in the country. Just close the airline down please.

  • ockert - 2010-10-06 10:26

    The SAA passengers on Mango will have gold stars on their forheads - so that the hostess will know to serve them a meal ??

  • Suzie - 2010-10-06 10:26

    Have no faith in flying with Mango. Prefer British Airways and 1 Time. Will make use of these airlines if I ever fly from Durban to Cape Town

  • Mike - 2010-10-06 10:28

    Mango doesnt do Business class!!!!!

  • jules - 2010-10-06 10:31

    @Moza@Dave unfortunately you are in the minority. It is just not lucrative for SAA as not many people fly that route. Makes financial sense, although unpopular with the regular flyers.

  • Stefan - 2010-10-06 10:32

    Yes, BA all the way as I wont fly 1Time or Kulula either after a number of huge delays.

  • Lungile Casey - 2010-10-06 10:37

    it makes economic business sense, if SAA has a wing of low costs airline it does make sense to relegate the duties to Mangoe. I fly mangoe more often because i consider time more important than luxury. In average you fly 1hr 30mins accross the country why would one need extreme luxury if you could spend an HR on a flight to cape town from durban. Thus strategic thinking from SAA, a parent needs to sends a child to run minor erands

  • Player-23 - 2010-10-06 10:42

    This is a DISASTER for SA rugby! the Sharks & Stormers won't be able to play against each other in anyone's home city...but maybe then only in Ellispark, Loftus or elsewhere ;-)

  • Mphe - 2010-10-06 10:42

    You can never satisfy unpleasing this decision is to some, however, it a good business descion

  • Francois - 2010-10-06 10:42

    Are they crazy! I will rather pay double for SAA or BA than risk a low cost airline. Sorry, that my voyager points will be affected but in future it will have to be BA..

  • Telstar - 2010-10-06 10:44

    @Dave. Look guys other airlines are actually 2 x more expensive than SAA

  • Lukas - 2010-10-06 10:45

    Watch all the gravytrain fliers in government employ to fly BA because they certainly are not flying economy

  • Rura - 2010-10-06 10:45

    It IS a bus. Lets be honest, low-cost internal flights are not "holidays in the sky" anymore. It has to be fast, efficient and cheap - thats the world we live in. The only reason people fly higher classes in the short-haul flights is cause the company is paying. It makes no financial sense for such a short flight. And that mindset of "I must have the best cause someone else is paying" is what cause economic meltdowns in the first place...

  • Jonathan - 2010-10-06 10:47

    I, and many other business men, fly once ot twice a month on this route. This, like many other SAA decisions, is chasing us to the opposition. Try flying CTN/LHR with zero in-flight entertainment. Very shabby.

  • Alex - 2010-10-06 10:48

    Monkey Managment brought this on all of us ... ironic how South Africa was discovered long before Australia. Australia once being a prison camp turns out to be a 1st world country and yet RSA still battle from becoming a 4th world jungle.

  • john - 2010-10-06 10:48

    Mango is SAA. It is their pretend low cost carrier. What a laugh. I would rather fly Mango as they have newer aircraft than Comair ( pretend BA)

  • Steve - 2010-10-06 10:48

    Spare a thought for the poor politians they will now have to fly economy on their "hard earned" free Travelgate tickets. Or maybe they will go via Joburg earn more voyager miles and waste more of our taxes.

  • @ Dave - 2010-10-06 10:49

    That is a rather irrational statement - as you just pointed out, you fly between CPT & DBN 3 times a year. For that they should keep the service because you don’t want to fly "low cost" and BA is 2x's the cost for your 3 trips a year???? That would not be a business decision chap.

  • Christo - 2010-10-06 10:49

    This might make financial sense, but SAA must be careful that the focus on the low cost airlines won't cost them on other domestic routes.

  • Lilian - 2010-10-06 10:50

    SAA sucks! I will NEVER fly with them ever again. Their service is non existant. Their staff are rude and incompetent. Their aircraft are like sardine cans. I just wonder if their staff would be employed by any other airline. I think not!

  • One Time-only! - 2010-10-06 10:52

    These ONE Time Planes are seriously due for upgrade!They're no more than rattle traps with seats without cushions.Flight back from JHB literally sat on frame work as the cushion was so worn!!!British Airways for me!!!

  • Gaz - 2010-10-06 10:52

    Well I'm 6ft4 and If I don't get an emergency seat I cannot sit on a Mango plane, it's like having my knees over my head which is not a pretty guess it's the opposition for me then

  • JENNY - 2010-10-06 10:56

    Funny, last time I flew SAA from CT to JHB, it was mostly businessman and lots of business class seats. Ever been at the CT or JHB airport at 6am to check in when flying from CT to JHB for a day's business! They queue stretches through the entire departure hall. Won't affect me at all as as I very rarely fly SAA these days, usually use Kalula, BA or 1 Time. I will never fly Mango, the seats are too small and too many delays.

  • Liat - 2010-10-06 10:57

    Mango is AWEFUL, on doing a connecting flight to JHBG on my way to Australia, they managed to allow a very very very large person who SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE TO PAY FOR 2 book 1 to me. I was the last on the plane(plane full) and had no choice but to sit squashed as the hostess had to lift the arm rest so that the VERY VERY LARGE person could have most of MY SEAT. There was nothing I could do but take it...Mango service is HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!

  • PopsGP - 2010-10-06 10:58

    Looks like the taxpayers will now be paying for Mango to "compete" in the low frills (but still high cost to operator) market. While it will be easy for Mango to grow while being subsidised, I doubt that SAMango will be able to gain independent and sustainable market share in the long term. I look forward then to flying Comair who seem to have the customer in mind. As for SAA expanding into Africa: This strategy which gives away position in the domestic market for a quick jaunt in the continental only to see the huge margins quickly sucked away when the competition comes knocking may not be a good one. SAA should focus on its customers and not just its profitability. Perhaps the one will enable the other.

  • BD - 2010-10-06 10:59

    it doesnt make busines sense to operate on these routes. as the article says travellers on the ct and durban routes are price sensitive. so why would SAA want to compete with Mango on these routes!? its canabalism!

  • RM - 2010-10-06 10:59

    I fly this route at least 3-4 times a year, and SAA is always full, so not sure why they say it's not profitable. Maybe reduce the number of flights? It's odd that the so-called national carrier doesn't fly between the country's 2nd and 3rd biggest cities.

  • @mike - 2010-10-06 11:01

    @mike, you work for BA/Kulula don't you. Now now be a good little ork and admit it.

  • Jan - 2010-10-06 11:01 bunch of something else. I could understand if CT was a 6 hour flight away, but peaple pay cheap money to get to where they want to be, and in all honesty you have hardley touched your drink by the time you need to land DBN. Good one SAA, you have Mango..use them, I know i will.

  • Lawrence - 2010-10-06 11:04

    Umm - aren't SAA and Mango one and the same? Both owned by the State?

  • Jenny - 2010-10-06 11:09

    Recidulous guys, cant believe how pretentious people can be. Wont fly low cost airlines, i have flown regularly for 23 years and must credit the low cost airlines because 90% of the time, on board service is friendlier and more efficient and pilots appear to be more experienced.

  • Moza....NOT! - 2010-10-06 14:44

    Moza seriously Mango has much better aircraft than BA or 1Time - and Kulula - the service is better and they are always on time - maybe you like sending money to colonialists? - Support South African

  • clint@player23 - 2010-10-06 15:24

    Sharks are sponsored by BA not SAA! Funny I flew SAA on Monday and sat in Business Class while Smit, the National BOK captain was forced into economy. SAA just suck.

  • Johan - 2010-10-06 15:44

    Makes perfect sence in these times. And Mango is not that bad. Have flown them, and prefer them to 1Time or Kalula. And it does not matter which way you look at it, vacation travellers will always look at budget lines. One cannot operate an airline if your business travellers are few and far between

  • holly - 2010-10-06 15:49

    SAA is a joke - remind me why i pay tax again? Oh yes, so that the fat MD at the top can earn millions after being a bad bad boy!! they only doing this because they are in the pooh. There are loads of work ppl that fly to CT - DBN!

  • John - 2010-10-06 15:53

    @Dave, so you are flying 3x a year to Durbs. And I would imagine so will a couple of other business people. Try operating a fleet of multi-million Rand aircraft on a route that is used by a small number of people flying 3 x a year.

  • jolly roger - 2010-10-06 16:28

    With luck SAA will soon just be a "virtual airline"

  • Greg - 2010-10-06 16:37

    All the moaning people here, just shut up and stop being a bunch of babies. Especially Dave and Moza you need to grow up.

  • Corry - 2010-10-06 16:58

    I can't believe how incredibly stupid people are. Anyone who flies mango needs to be whipped. SAA introduced mango to "compete" with Kulula, 1Time etc. I say "compete" because it is anything but that. We, the taxpayers are subsidising mango and the second Kulula and other low cost airlines go bust SAA will close mango and you'll pay R3k for a Dbn/CT trip and R2k for Dbn/Jhb. Even if mango have a buy 1 get 10 free ticket special I will refuse on principle and common sense to fly with them. Everyone else should do so too. But, alas, those same chops flying mango will be the first to moan about high prices when SAA is the only airline again

  • Gus Behn - 2010-10-06 17:12

    This is absolutely absurd! We'll now consider moving our company business to BA!

  • PILOT - 2010-10-06 17:27

    I think this got less to do with SAA kindly leaving this route to MaNGO and the fact that SAA has been getting slaughtered in these routes by Kulula, 1time, mango, nationwide use to give saa competition also. its just that very few people are flying SAA in these routes now. If I need to go anywhere in South Africa, I look at all the other airline websites except SAA. If the other airlines are booked, and the flight is not an emergency, then I simply postpone my trip or leave earlier. I think many people are doing the same thing.

  • Craig Hallett - 2010-10-06 17:30

    Just booked a return flight from Cape Town to Durban for 4 days in December. Mango quoted R1378 and SAA quoted R1582. Noticed they had the same departure times each way. Funny to see this article now. Surely the flight should then cost the same on both websites?

  • CAHL - 2010-10-06 17:52

    This is the route between Durban and Cape Town , how busy can that really be with business traffic. Most business is Cpt or Dbn to Jhb which are still being flown by SAA. Leave it to the low cost carriers as it is a tourist route. News24 get the headline clearer please.

  • @PILOT - 2010-10-06 18:17

    GN should give you a bonus. With that sort of baseless venom You can only work for Comair. Good luck.

  • Lifetime platinum - 2010-10-06 19:09

    sounds like a BAD april fools joke, never heard of anything so ridiculous... may soon switch allegiance to other airlines-think it's a poor judgement call on their part!!!

  • Tee Ehn - 2010-10-06 20:11

    Good decision Siza. I hope you going to paint all new Airbus 319 & 320 as Mango's. Cape Town is not so lucrutive anymore except on certain times of the day or certain days. Rather keep the so called "peak flight" on SAA and allocate the not busy slots to Mango.

  • pages:
  • 1
  • 2