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By Editorial staff

Journalist


Comair scandal: Steep hike in plane fares no surprise

There is nothing a capitalist businessperson loves more than a captive market – except perhaps one where there is an emergency, which leads to a sudden spike in demand.


There are few more arcane financial structures in the world than plane fare prices – and even on one flight, there can be multiple variations, even for exactly the same seat.

Plane fares

The Competition Commission has warned airlines it would take action after looking into the sudden rise in airfares, which followed the grounding of Kulula and British Airways flights.

And that, no doubt, is what the airlines might hide behind when trying to explain why so many angry stranded Kulula and BA passengers felt they were scalped by the competitors.

There is nothing a capitalist businessperson loves more than a captive market – except perhaps one where there is an emergency, which leads to a sudden spike in demand.

ALSO READ: We’re fine, says Comair

Comair’s business rescue

It was to be expected, as all South African airlines have taken a battering because of Covid-19, and Comair was forced into business rescue because it could not cope.

And, because many South African businesses set their prices based on what the market will bear – as opposed to a reasonable and fair return – the airfare gouging is indicative of what is going on elsewhere.

Right across the board, prices are rising more than they should as businesses try to recoup their Covid losses.

NOW READ: Comair scandal: Commission warns of action over spike in ticket prices