Airlines slash prices to woo passengers

HARARE - The year 2017 has opened with heavy discounts on air tickets, bordering on a fare war of sorts, to woo passengers back to flying.

Average fares have fallen by 50 percent as airlines cut prices to boost market share amid intensifying competition.

The cuts come as budget airlines are reporting a rise in net profit.

Traditional airlines have vowed to take market share from rival airlines.

This aggressive discount scheme has seen the country’s largest airlines by market share slashing air fares by half to a number of destinations.

A return arirfare to Dubai now costs $520, to and back from London $880, Sydney $1050, Johannesburg $280, Cape Town $620, and Guangzhou $750, according to Fivebulls Travel Tours & Safaris.

This includes taxes or service fees but are subject to availability.

The move literally throws down the gauntlet to budget airline rivals by traditional airlines .

“This is a normal practice in line with demand,” a spokesperson for Fivebulls Travel Tours & Safaris said.

The move to slash fares by almost half, has seen all airlines follow this pricing strategy, the spokesperson said.

February to April is generally considered a lean period for the domestic travel industry.

An airline executive told the Daily News that the scheme is to sell excess inventory that airlines are sitting on, coming from the holiday season.

Fares will be back to normal soon, he said.

“Airlines are trying to fill up inventory especially for March and April, which is when peak summer travel begins, so that they can plan revenue management better,” he said.

Currently, almost 20 airlines are flying into Zimbabwe from a peak of 48 in 1999 and there are efforts to lure more and grow the tourism sector that has the potential of earning $5 billion annually by 2020.

Comments (1)

Definitely cheaper to fly to/from RSA than driving to/from Zim methinks!

Cklab - 17 January 2017

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