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'It’s always a big hit,' says FlySafair after selling 31,700 R8 tickets, more than 1-million people in 'waiting room'

FlySafair sold more than 31,000 flight tickets for R8 as part of its 2022 mega sale. File photo.
FlySafair sold more than 31,000 flight tickets for R8 as part of its 2022 mega sale. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

FlySafair says it sold 31,713 tickets during its annual mega sale with hopeful travellers buying tickets for R8 for domestic flights that excluded Mauritius.

Chief marketing officer Kirby Gordon told TimesLIVE on Thursday morning the top destinations were Cape Town, Joburg and Durban, with a “fair amount of demand” for flights to Gqeberha and East London in the Eastern Cape.

“This is the sixth time we’ve run this sale and it’s always a big hit. It stands to reason that it serves us well, which is why we keep doing it,” he said.

FlySafair owned top Twitter trends and was flooded with responses from travellers who scored on the sale and those who camped in the waiting room for hours without any luck.

Gordon said it was a pleasant sight to witness South Africans take part in the sale and talk about it online. 

We always sell a few more than we advertise to be sure that we meet all expectations set. There were just over 1,070,000 in our waiting room, so the response was huge
FlySafair head of marketing Kirby Gordon

“There is usually a great deal of buzz and the interaction we get from social media is incredible. We’re always amazed at how creative and funny South Africans are.”

FlySafair announced it would sell 30,000 tickets but ended up selling more than advertised.

Tickets were only available for sale online via the FlySafair website. 

“We always sell a few more than we advertise to be sure that we meet all expectations set. There were just over 1,070,000 in our waiting room, so the response was huge,” said Gordon. 

Sanele Gumede and Nyasha McBride Mpani told TimesLIVE they were among the 32,000 lucky travellers who scored cheap tickets from the sale.

Gumede, who frequently flies to Durban, bought a one-way ticket from Joburg to Durban for July. 

“I joined the queue at 9am and gave up by 2pm. Everyone at the office was still camping on the site and asked me to go back. I went back to the waiting room at 3.15pm and got selected and bought the ticket at 3.48pm.

“I travel all the time but I’ve never been this lucky before. I think the cheapest flight I’ve ever got was probably the R299 flight about three or four years ago from FlySafair,” said Gumede. 

Cape Town-based Mpani flies frequently to East London. He was in the waiting room for over seven hours. 

“I only got one ticket to East London. I waited from 9am and only managed to buy the ticket around 4.49pm. This was my first time buying the tickets at a huge discount,” said Mpani. 

The airline had its first sale in August 2015, a year after it took its first flight, and sold 30,000 tickets for R1 each. In 2016 it sold 15,000 tickets for R2, and in 2018 30,000 tickets were sold for R4 each. The following year 45,000 tickets were sold for R5 each.

Can hopeful travellers expect more annual sales in future? Possibly, said Gordon.

“We’ve tried to do the sale every year, but the pandemic obviously got in the way over the last two years. We’d like to do it again in 2023 but we might spice it up a little by trying something slightly different.”

Missed the big sale? The airline currently offers a 15% discount until end-March next year.

Here's a look at some of the reactions shared on social media: 

TimesLIVE


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