South African Airways is not making profits on the only direct India and South Africa link, as flyers are opting for cheaper stop-over flights, a new study has suggested. However, all indications are that the airline will continue its daily flights on the Johannesburg-Mumbai route, said to be one of the long-standing ones, with the first flight dating back to 1995.
“There is a large Indian community in South Africa and India is a growing source market for South Africa’s tourism sector. But the market is low yielding and very price sensitive. Most passengers flying between South Africa and India do not mind transiting in East Africa or West Asia to save a couple of hundred dollars,” the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said in an analysis of SAA global operations.
SAA’s Mumbai-Johannesburg flight became the only non-stop service between the two countries after Jet Airways scrapped its Johannesburg flight in 2012. Yet, profitability continues to elude SAA on this route, CAPA said.
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