Latest News on Fastjet and SAA this week 21 October 2013

Here is the latest travel and flight news to keep you “in the loop”.

A new airline has launched
I know you have all become a little jaded with the announcement of new airlines launching in South Africa. Who can blame you with the likes of nationwide, velvet sky and 1time all going under, and some not even actually launching. However a new airline has just launched, flying from Johannesburg. The airline is called Fastjet. Fastjet had originally planned on offering flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, however changed their minds and instead have launched offering flights between Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam. Their goal is to become the number 1 pan-African airline, effectively competing with SAA (flysaa) on these international routes.

SAA biofuels and push for West Africa
One of the largest variable costs for airlines is the fuel cost. This directly influences the ticket prices, and the profitability of an airline. Not only that, but the use of such massive amounts of petrol, results in large environmental damage. In light of these issues, SAA is making a concerted effort to move into using more biofuels. Biofuels are fuels made from “typically” biodegradable matter. SAA have announced that although they are developing the fuel for their own use, they may choose to make it available to other airlines, and thus turn it into a separate commercially viable exercise.

Staying with South African Airways, they have decided to start making concerted moves into West Africa. Could this be related to the launch and new competition of Fastjet?
SAA’s management have identified West Africa as a potential growth region for the airline and they are looking at establishing a central West African hub, that will serve all routes.