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Another SA airline takes to the skies
Friday, 18 May 2012
A new South African low-cost airline might soon take to the skies. On May 15, Fly Standby Travel officially approached parliament to request funds to start a new public airline, Standby Express, which aims to attract a new target market and offer a service from taxi rank to aircraft to taxi rank.

The company was in negotiations with Santaco for several months in 2011. However, the cooperative arrangement was terminated as a result of a ‘breach of the agreed protocols’ a few months ago. Standby Travel now announced thanks to interventions by the Department of Transport, the involvement of Santaco has been reignited.

The new airline will operate with modern, fuel-efficient aircraft, such as the Boeing 737. Standby Travel has announced it will wet lease aircraft and thus only pay for fuel consumed and time used.

Standby Express has a single fare structure, currently set at R699. The airline will offer services to and from Cape Town, Bisho, Johannesburg (Lanseria), Kimberly and Durban. The key service from the Cape and Gauteng to and from Bisho will be early morning and late in the day.  While the Kimberly service will be in the middle of the day and the Durban service late in the evening. The airline is also looking into services to other centres such as Richards Bay, Polokwane and Rustenburg.
In the future, the airline would like to serve regional routes. The company said in a statement: “Service to neighbouring states is envisaged in due course.  These destinations require complex approvals and will be started when appropriate.”

The company further also wants to market ‘distressed stock’ and offer customers the opportunity to book discounted flights. Passengers will only informed if they are successful in booking their seat 48 hours before the flight (this is because Standby Travel passengers only get seats if there are some left if other airlines have space left over at this point).

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By Dorine Reinstein



The Editor
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