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Cheap Domestic Flights to and from Cape Town

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Cheap Domestic Flights to and from Cape Town

Your guide to the standard and low-cost airlines flying to and from the Mother City

South Africa has a handful of airlines that operate domestic flights between all major cities, and, thanks to online booking engines (every airline has one), travellers located anywhere in the world can quickly and easily book flights to and from Cape Town.  

As far as service providers go, South African Airways (SAA), a state-owned enterprise, is the largest airline in the country, and the carrier that provides the most comprehensive service. SA Airlink and SA Express, privately owned airlines that specialise in travel to regional hubs, have flights incorporated within SAA’s scheduling. Also under SAA’s wings is Mango Airlines, which offers low-cost domestic flights within South Africa.  

British Airways (BA), the prolific UK-based airline, also operates flights to and from South Africa’s largest cities, and Kulula, BA’s low-cost subsidiary, offers cheap flights to and from the major urban centres. Generally speaking though, these two airlines only connect Cape Town with the foremost national cities; they do not service the smaller provincial metropolises. 

Flights Cape Town - Johannesburg 

Hands down the most popular flight path in South Africa, the route to Cape Town from Johannesburg or vice versa is serviced by all four airlines. Generally, each airline offers more flights to and from Cape Town during the workweek than on the weekends. Flight time is two hours. 

Lift Airline
New and curently flying Cape Town - Johannesburg (ORT) as well as the Johannesburg George routes.
Read more about South Africa's latest low cost carrier Lift airline.

South African Airways: SAA offers roughly 20 daily flights between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town; there are no flights to and from Johannesburg’s Lanseria International Airport. The earliest weekday flight departs at 5:45am (thereafter flights leave on an hourly basis) and the last flight for the day departs at 9pm.  Passengers can travel either on an economy or business class basis. 

British Airways: Roughly 12 daily BA flights traverse the distance between Cape Town and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport; the airline does not fly to Johannesburg’s Lanseria Airport. During the week, flights generally depart as early as 6:15am up until as late as 7:45pm, and passengers can travel either on an economy or business class basis. 

Mango Airlines: Mango offers flight paths that connect to and from both Johannesburg airports. Daily on weekdays, the carrier generally offers three flights to and from Lanseria International Airport and five flights to and from OR Tambo International Airport. Lanseria flights (both to and from) get going at about 8:55am and OR Tambo flights (both to and from) typically set off as early as 6:55am. The last daily flight to and from both airports is generally scheduled for 7:55pm. Only economy class tickets are available. 

Kulula Airlines: Kulula boasts roughly seven daily flights that travel between both Johannesburg airports (OR Tambo International and Lanseria International) and Cape Town.  Generally, the first Lanseria flight (both to and from) departs at 6am and the last at 8pm, and the first OR Tambo flight (both to and from) departs at 6:30am and the last at 8pm. Only economy class tickets are available. 

Flights to Cape Town from Durban / flights to Durban from Cape Town

Though not as popular as the Johannesburg – Cape Town route, the Durban – Cape Town flight path is still well travelled and, thus, serviced by all four airlines. Generally speaking, there are more flights available during the workweek and during the festive season. Flight time is approximately two hours. 

South African Airways: SA Express offers roughly three daily flights both ways between Durban’s King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town. Usually, the earliest weekday flight departs at 9:05am and the latest flight departs at 6:50pm.  Passengers can only travel economy class as a smaller plane is used. 

British Airways: Roughly five daily BA flights traverse the distance between Cape Town and sunny Durban, and, during the week, flights generally depart as early as 6:30am up until as late as 5:30pm. Passengers can travel either on an economy or business class basis. 

Mango Airlines: Mango offers give or take five daily Durban to Cape Town (and vice versa) flights during the week. Normally, the earliest flight takes off at 5:55am and the latest at 5pm. Only economy class bookings are available. 

Kulula Airlines: Only one daily Kulula flight makes the trip between Cape Town and Durban, and it generally departs at 10:35am during the week. Passengers only have the option of travelling on an economy class basis. 

Flights to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth / flights to Port Elizabeth from Cape Town

Only Mango, SAA and BA offer flights that traverse the short distance between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town; Kulula doesn’t operate any flights to or from the windy seaside city. On the whole, there are more flights available during the workweek than during the weekend, and flight time is a lightning-fast 1 hour 10 minutes (though, some flights take as long as 1 hour 30 minutes). 

South African Airways: SA Express offers roughly five daily flights back and forth between Port Elizabeth’s ’10-minute’ airport (so called because it’s 10 minutes from both the city’s CBD and the beachfront) and Cape Town. Generally, the earliest weekday flight departs at 6am and the latest flight leaves at 6:30pm.  Passengers can travel only on an economy class basis as a smaller plane is used. 

British Airways: Only one daily BA flight is typically offered to and from Cape Town from and to Port Elizabeth. The flight’s departure time is variable but generally hovers around 11:35am. As always, both business class and economy class tickets are available.

Mango Airlines: Mango usually offers a single Cape Town to Port Elizabeth (and vice versa) flight each day between Monday and Friday. The plane departs at 9am, and only economy class tickets are available. 

Kulula Airlines: No Port Elizabeth – Cape Town flights.

Flights to Cape Town from George / flights to George from Cape Town

Just over a scenic four hours from Cape Town by car, the small Western Cape city of George is but a hop, skip and jump away from the Mother City. Thus, most travellers opt to drive the distance between the two, and, for this reason, there are not many flights to this part of the world from Cape Town, and vice versa. The only airline that does operate a flight that services this route is South African Airways, and the flight time is a fleeting one hour. 

South African Airways: SA Airlink offers give or take three daily flights both ways between George and Cape Town.  The earliest plane generally departs at 7:15am and the latest at 4:45pm. Only economy class tickets are available as a small plane is used. 

British Airways: No Cape Town – George flights.

Mango Airlines: No Cape Town – George flights.

Kulula Airlines: No Cape Town – George flights.

Flights to Cape Town from Bloemfontein / flights to Bloemfontein from Cape Town

With its semi-arid climate and small population (less than 650,000 people), the Free State capital of Bloemfontein, also known as the ‘City of Roses’, isn’t exactly a tourist or economic hotspot. Thus, only two airlines, South African Airways and Mango, operate flights between the city and Cape Town. Flight time is 1 hour 45 minutes. 

South African Airways: SA Express offers give or take two daily weekday flights to Bloemfontein from Cape Town and vice versa. The earlier flight departs at 6am and the later (and final) daily flight generally departs around 2:20pm.  Only economy class tickets are available as SA Express makes use of a small plane. 

British Airways: No Bloemfontein – Cape Town flights.

Mango Airlines: The sole (one) daily Mango flight between Bloemfontein and Cape Town during the week departs every day at 6:10am. No business class cabin is present on the plane; thus, only economy class tickets are available. 

Kulula Airlines: No Bloemfontein – Cape Town flights.

Flights to Cape Town from East London / flights to East London from Cape Town

South African Airways is the sole provider of flights from East London to Cape Town and vice versa. The flight time between the Mother City and this Eastern Cape coastal metropolis – it sidles up to the Indian Ocean – is between 1 hour 40 minutes and 1 hour 55 minutes. 

South African Airways: Generally, between Monday and Friday, two daily SA Express flights travel the distance between East London from and Cape Town: the first flight departs at 6:20am and the second and last flight for the day departs at 5:20pm. Only economy class tickets are available. 

British Airways: No East London – Cape Town flights.  

Mango Airlines: No East London – Cape Town flights.  

Kulula Airlines: No East London – Cape Town flights.  

Flights to Cape Town from Nelspruit / flights to Nelspruit from Cape Town

Though acknowledged by international tourists as the gateway to the Kruger National Park, Nelspruit, nonetheless, doesn’t warrant  a large degree of flight traffic from Cape Town (and vice versa). Thus, only South African Airways services this route, and flight time is 2 hours 30 minutes. 

South African Airways: Typically, on weekdays, only one SA Airlink flight traverses the distance between coastal Cape Town and the agricultural hub of Nelspruit. The lone plane generally leaves at 10am daily. Travellers can only book tickets to sit in an economy class cabin.  

British Airways: No Nelspruit – Cape Town flights.  

Mango Airlines: No Nelspruit – Cape Town flights.  

Kulula Airlines: No Nelspruit – Cape Town flights.  

Flights to Cape Town from Kimberley / flights to Kimberley from Cape Town

Though famous for its diamond mining past, Kimberley is also not a high-demand destination for travellers and business people in South Africa. Thus, only South African Airways offers flights that make the trip between the Mother City and the Northern Cape capital. Flight time is 1 hour 35 minutes. 

South African Airways: Generally, between Monday and Friday, two flights (one SA Airlink and one SA Express) journey between Kimberley and Cape Town each day. The early flight departs roughly around 5:50am and the late flight leaves around 4:30pm. Only economy class cabins are present on the two flights. 

British Airways: No Kimberley – Cape Town flights.  

Mango Airlines: No Kimberley – Cape Town flights.  

Kulula Airlines: No Kimberley – Cape Town flights.  

Flights to Cape Town from Hoedspruit / flights to Hoedspruit from Cape Town

There are no direct flights between the small Limpopo town of Hoedspruit and Cape Town. Travellers interested in journeying to this dorp at the foot of the Klein Drakensberg mountain range will need to fly via Johannesburg. 

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Interested in learning about which international airlines fly directly to the Mother City from elsewhere in the world? Read our article about cheap non-stop flights to Cape Town.  

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