Between external forces and internal factors: The geography of domestic airline services in South Africa

This paper investigates the changes and current patterns of domestic passenger airline networks in South Africa, considering routes operated and volumes of seats supplied by carriers. This market was liberalised in 1991 and the new market-oriented policy was not challenged by the post-apartheid regime. Flag-carrier South African Airways (SAA) has lost its virtual monopoly, and thus significant volumes and market share, although its decrease is smaller if one considers its regional affiliates and subsidiary. Conversely, low-cost airlines have literally boomed, while British Airways has penetrated the market through a franchise agreement with Comair. Route networks by airline show various patterns. The low-cost carriers tend to concentrate on South Africa's Golden Triangle, while SAA regional affiliates mostly serve thin routes without competitors. Furthermore, the rise of low-cost airlines has led to the utilisation of a secondary airport in Johannesburg, the only African city with a multiple-airport system. Finally, the authors' results are interpreted in light of South Africa's geography, intermodal options and social-political issues.


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  • Accession Number: 01748793
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2020 3:06PM