Cape Town - It is 10 times more expensive to fly to Gaborone than to New York when calculated as cost per kilometre.
And even local flights can cost up to four times more per kilometre than flying to the Big Apple, a Corporate Traveller survey reveals.
A return flight from Johannesburg to Gaborone, Botswana, costs around R3 100 for a 556km trip, compared with, on average, R15 000 to New York, USA, which is 25 652km away. This equates to R5.58 for a kilometre to Gaborone versus 58c per kilometre to New York.
Similarly, a return flight from OR Tambo to Paris, France, costs R10 255 compared with R4 890 to Maputo, Mozambique. Paris is a 17 416km round-trip from Johannesburg while OR Tambo to Maputo is 904km return, amounting to 59c/km for Paris and R5.41/km for Maputo.
Corporate Traveller’s statistics reveal that the cost per kilometre from Johannesburg is 60c for Singapore, 62c for London and 67c for Sydney, Australia, which is 22 100km away.
Conversely, flying to Harare, Zimbabwe, costs R2.02/km and to Nairobi R1.51/km.
This discrepancy exists even when it comes to local flights with the cost per kilometre from Johannesburg to Durban a whopping R1.51, which is comparable to flying to Nairobi when measured by cost per kilometre. Durban is 994km return from Johannesburg.
Flying to Cape Town (2 528km return) costs around half the price of Durban at 77c/km, but is still more expensive than New York, London or even Sydney.
Fares quoted are based on direct flights and are averages, which can fluctuate.
“It is startling when you look at the cost of flights in terms of cost per kilometre. Who would have thought that flying to almost anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere or even Australia would be significantly cheaper than flying locally or to Africa?” asks Corporate Traveller marketing manager Michelle Jolley.
Jolley says that taxes, added to the fact that airlines have a baseline of expenses regardless of distance, are responsible for the massive discrepancy. She says the fact that there are fewer airlines servicing South Africa and Africa also doesn’t help.
“Less competition means that airlines can charge higher fares,” she notes. “There are a number of challenges on the continent which means that it can be difficult to travel between African countries without first re-routing via another point. This means that even covering a short distance could result in a lengthy, costly journey.This is where having an expert like Corporate Traveller on hand to advise you on the best option really pays dividends.”
The most expensive cities to travel to from Johannesburg on a basis of cost per kilometre: