New SA airline sells ‘minutes’


Barring last minute hitches, a new tailfin may soon be seen zooming across South Africa‘s skies.

According to TravelHub, the Durban-based domestic carrier will be called Airtime Airlines and will launch its first flight on January 18, 2009 from Durban to Johannesburg.

Although no information was available on the airline‘s supposed website –, TravelHub reports that travellers will purchase ‘minutes‘ rather than a conventional point-to-point ticket.

A Durban-Johannesburg flight will be worth 75min; Durban to PE 85min; and Durban to Cape Town 125min.

According to TravelHub, the ‘price per minute‘ will not vary depending on demand (a common practice used by carriers worldwide), and all surcharges and taxes will be included.

Travellers will allegedly be able to purchase a ‘starter pack‘ of a pre-paid ‘minutes‘ valid for travel across the airline‘s network for up to a year. Minutes that are not used within the year can be converted to airtime valid for any of South Africa‘s cell networks.

TravelHub reports that Airtime will launch with three 118-seater aircraft, and will also use an SMS-driven booking procedure.