Just like Air Zimbabwe, South African Airways has been struggling and even flirted with bankruptcy. Thanks to government bailouts the airline seems to be back on its wings so to speak. The airline recently announced that it would be resuming flights between Harare and Johannesburg after both Zimbabwe and South Africa relaxed their lockdowns.
SAA has resumed flights to Harare, but flies only once a day.
It leaves Johannesburg for Harare at 10:40am daily, and returns from Harare to Johannesburg at 1pm.
At one point SAA used to have three flights daily between Johannesburg and Harare.NewsHawks on Twitter
Those intending to fly between OR Tambo airport and Robert Mugabe airport in Harare can expect to pay a fare of between R2 500 and R3 100 in the economy class and up to R5 000 for Business Class. That is around US$165 to 205 for a oneway trip if you are in the economy and an eye-watering US$330 if you go with the Business class.
In comparison budget airlines such as FastJet charge about R1500 for a one way trip between Johannesburg and Harare. That is just under US$100. With people tightening their belts during the pandemic it might be time for normal airlines like SAA to consider the budget fare strategy. If they fail to attract customers they may go into bankruptcy again especially with the pandemic still ongoing in most parts of the world and future lockdowns and waves still a possibility.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on airlines as most international travels was first banned in a lot of countries and then restricted to mostly only those who were vacinnated. A lot of people have also voluntarily shelved their travel plants and vacations out of fear of catching the virus.