- South Africans who want to book now for flights in December have four options.
- On some major routes, none of them are cheap right now.
- Flying between Durban and Johannesburg won't cost you too much, and East London to Johannesburg isn't extortionate either.
- But to go from George to Durban is going to cost you.
- Here's what flights in December will cost if you book now.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
* This article has been updated below.
If you want to fly around South Africa this December, you can currently book with one of four operational scheduled carriers: FlySafair, Mango, CemAir, and Airlink.
Whether others – such as Kulula.com operator Comair – joins the ranks remains to be seen.
Also still unclear is just what the price of oil, and so jet fuel, will be at the time, and whether South Africa will see any new restrictions on leisure travel.
That changes the usual risk equation, which leans towards disaster if you book too late for December travel.
In the meanwhile, we shopped around for seats on popular, and some less popular, routes during the holidays every other year.
Here's what you'll pay to fly around South Africa this December, if you book now.
Johannesburg to Cape Town: about R1,500, one way
To fly from OR Tambo to Cape Town pretty much any time in later December will cost you at least R1,519 on Safair. You can get that down to R919 by flying from Lanseria instead – but only on Christmas Day itself, 25 December.
Mango is no cheaper, quoting R1,664 for a one-way trip between Johannesburg and Cape Town in December, but Airlink is slightly cheaper, at R1,434.
FlyCemAir is a bit more variable in its pricing, with seats between Joburg and Cape Town for just under R2,000, one way, but only on specific dates. Most of the time you'll be paying R2,500 for that trip.
Cape Town to Durban: about R1,000, unless you fly Airlink
If you leave before the 13th – or on the 26th – you can fly from Cape Town to Durban for R813 one way on Mango. For much of the rest of the month you'll be paying close to R1,000, topping out at R1,331 on 23 December.
That's a good deal compared to Airlink, which is asking R2,454 for the same flight, and still mostly cheaper than the R1,119 Safair wants for the trip.
Durban to Johannesburg: R514 on Mango
If you need to get from Durban to Johannesburg in December, look at Mango. For R514 you can fly into the more convenient OR Tambo, while you'll have to go via Lanseria to get roughly the same price on Safair (between R519, at the beginning of the month, and R568 later in December.)
To fly Safair to OR Tambo will cost you R719.
Airlink is an outlier again, at R1,572 for a one-way ticket between King Shaka and OR Tambo.
Smaller airports: variable – but mostly high
Thanks to SAA and Comair remaining offline, secondary airports are not well served at the moment. Where flights are to be had, the prices are not always outrageous – just most of the time.
A one-way ticket from East London to Johannesburg will set you back R669 on FlySafair, for instance.
But low prices are not to be had elsewhere. To fly from OR Tambo to Plettenberg Bay will cost you R2,952 on Cemair, and flying from Bloemfontein to Cape Town could cost you as much as R1,285 on Mango, if you pick the wrong date to travel.
A one-way ticket from Port Elizabeth to OR Tambo is R1,119 on Safair all December, and to travel from George to Durban on 23 December will cost you a cool R3,854 on Airlink. (Airlink points out that, while its website will sell you a ticket from George to Durban, that is not a direct flight, and there will be at least one stop at another airport.)*
* This article was updated after publication to add the fact that Airlink does not fly directly between George and Durban.
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