Cape Town Tourism - Table Mountain

Talking Tourism: Move to publish domestic airlines’ on-time performance

Earlier this month we reported on the rise of low-cost carriers (LCCs) in South Africa since 1994 with four low cost airlines now running daily domestic flights between most of the country’s major cities, including Cape Town. Mango Airlines, 1Time and Kulula have all provided this service for a number of years, and were joined by a new player in March; Velvet Sky, who now also operate flights between Johannesburg and Durban, and Johannesburg and Cape Town.

In our previous article, we stated that low cost carriers have been very successful, particularly in the business and domestic tourism markets, and play a very important role in the tourism industry; however, the service garnered on these flights, even as experienced by staff, clients and members of Cape Town Tourism, often leaves much to be desired. We warned that the reputation of low-cost airlines go hand-in-hand with that of the tourism destination in which they operate and that passengers have the capacity to make or break a brand should promises not be kept. In fact, our final words were: “Low-cost rates, cheeky jokes and clever strap lines are not enough to keep passengers flying with you.”

ACSA has just announced that, from June 2011, it will publish results of the domestic airlines’ on-time performance in an effort to increase transparency with travellers and the airport community, and thereby improve the efficiency of airport operations.

We welcome the response by many of the low-cost carriers who say that they are pleased to have these results published; many believe that making the results public would change the perception of the industry and would inspire under-performing airlines to improve upon their services. Cape Town Tourism is of the opinion that this innovation will contribute to an improvement of performance by low-cost carriers, whilst empowering the consumer to make informed choices about their service provider.

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