– SAS throws in a free five day car rental if you book a round trip ticket for two on SAS from the US
There is no reason to go out of your way for this one – but if the flights are competitively priced it’s a nice bonus.
– if you ever checked prices on South African Airlink you eyes will have been watery – two hours flights easily cost $800 one-way, now the company is under investigation for ‘predatory pricing’ but there is a twist…
The complainants alleged that Airlink’s prices were excessive before Fly Blue Crane entered the market. Local media outlet DispatchLIVE reported in 2017 that Airlink had offered a return flight to the capital of the former Transkei homeland for ZAR4,000 as compared to Fly Blue Crane which charged only ZAR799 for a one-way ticket. Airlink ran the route twice daily on weekdays and daily on weekends. However, on Fly Blue Crane’s entry, Airlink proceeded to add a third daily frequency while slashing fares to ZAR2,000 return.
The SACC alleged that Airlink had engaged in predatory pricing by lowering its fares to below breakeven solely to drive Fly Blue Crane out of the market. With Fly Blue Crane entering into South African Business Rescue in early 2017, Airlink resumed its monopoly on the Umtata route before jacking up the price to previous levels.
Airlink is clearly (ab)using their monopoly power on many routes. Comair (Review) is an excellent airline but has no planes smaller than 737 and many Airlink destinations just don’t have enough demand for a 200 seat plane. So without real competition teh fares will stay extremely high – maybe Sir Richard Branson will fall in love with aviation in South Africa and (have someone) start a Virgin South Africa affiliate.