On 1 September, South Africa’s latest airline, Fly Blue Crane, launched services from Johannesburg. The carrier will initially operate services from the city to Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Nelspruit according to the airline’s flight schedule. Celebrating the service launch along with two of the crew is Siza Mzimela, the airline’s CEO and also founder and Executive Chairperson of Blue Crane Aviation.
Touchdown in Kimberley. Flights from Johannesburg will operate 18 times weekly according to the airline’s flight schedule, and will face direct competition from SA Express which operates 28 weekly flights on the 452-kilometre sector according to OAG Schedules Analyser.
On 7 September, Fly Blue Crane launched services on the 299-kilometre sector between Johannesburg and Nelspruit (our data elves have confirmed that this is where the photo was taken). Flights on the city pair will operate 12 times weekly.
- Fly Blue Crane is the latest airline to launch in South Africa. The carrier commenced services on the 1 September from Johannesburg (JNB) to Bloemfontein (BFN) and Kimberley (KIM), with service to the former operating 30 times weekly and the latter seeing 18 weekly flights. These routes were then followed by operations to Nelspruit (MQP) which launched on 7 September, a 299-kilometre sector that will be flown 12 times weekly. What is interesting to note is that flights will be operated under IATA code 7B, which was previously held by Krasnoyarsk Airlines. All routes will be operated by ERJ 145s, of which the airline currently has two. Flights to Bloemfontein will face direct competition in the form of SA Express and CemAir, while the sector to Kimberley sees direct competition from SA Express only. Nelspruit services will compete with SA Airlink. Commenting on the future outlook for the airline, Siza Mzimela, Fly Blue Crane CEO, said that the carrier’s online ticket sales were picking up and also added: “We hope to expand our flight destinations to Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We currently have two 50-seat ERJ 145s. The airline will aim to keep its current rates in order to make flying affordable for both business and leisure travel.” She added also that while major airports in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town were over-catered, Fly Blue Crane had noted a gap in the market in cities such as Kimberley.