South Africa has a number of airlines that fly between major airports and some of the smaller ones, offering a variety of classes ranging from first class flights to low-cost flights. There are a number of airports throughout South Africa, including several privately managed airports in peripheral areas.
South Africa's main airports are operated and managed by the South Africa Airport Company (Acsa), including the three main international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The other seven are domestic airports in Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, East London, George, Kimberley, Upington and Pilanesberg. All other airports are privately managed and are not serviced by all available airlines in South Africa.
South African Airways and British Airways (operated by Comair) offer cheap, business and first class flights between all major cities and some of the smaller ones, including Mthatha, Polokwane, Richards Bay and Maseru. For low-cost flights, passengers can use airlines such as Kulula.com, 1time and Mango Airlines. These airlines offer cheap flights on the most popular routes between Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and George.
Kulula offers single-class flights between Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town, Durban, George, Port Elizabeth and Nelspruit, as well as flights from Lanseria Airport to Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and George. 1Time Airline offers return flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and George.
These low-cost airlines offer flights without frills, with limited services on the flight and do not include complimentary meals and drinks on their flights, but offer qualified and friendly staff to meet the needs of their passengers and you can buy drinks and snacks on board .
All domestic flight operators offer online booking services, with credit card payment or directly in the corresponding bank account with Mango Airlines, SAA and British Airways, offering the additional convenience of buying tickets at the money market counters at Checkers and Shoprite supermarkets across the country.
There are several independent web-based agencies that offer price comparisons between airlines and online booking services. These include travelstart.co.za, ifly.co.za and cheapfares.co.za. Passengers can search the site for flights available on their preferred dates and compare the prices of airlines offering flights on those dates.
Flights on the main routes to the main international airports are scheduled daily with a good amount of available flights, while flights on smaller routes are scheduled intermittently with fewer available flights and offered by fewer airlines. Low-cost airlines do not cover all minor routes and do not include private airports such as Richards Bay and Mthatha.
When searching for cheap flights in South Africa, travelers can also take advantage of the additional services offered by low-cost airlines on their websites, including accommodation, car rental and tour packages. These airlines regularly offer additional special offers that include early booking discounts and last minute discounts on flights that can be found on their websites.