Low-Cost Aviation: Society, Culture and Environment - Chapter 6 - Cultures of flying and low-cost carriers in Southern Africa

Accessible air travel for all?

Elsevier, Low-Cost Aviation, 2022, Pages 83-97
Rink B.

This chapter explores cultures of flying using case studies of two low-cost carriers (LCCs) in Southern Africa, with a specific focus on the role that LCCs have on expanding access to a broader range of air travelers. LCCs have experienced marked growth in the region, with new airlines providing competition for legacy carriers on existing routes while also expanding into markets that were previously underserved by full-service airlines. Focusing on LCCs in South Africa, this chapter explores the ways in which LCCs make possible a new generation of air traveler that previously did not have access to aeromobility. The expansion of LCCs in a region of marked socioeconomic inequality unsettles the privileged origins of flying as a means of transport, complicates the mundane position of flying as a form of mobility, and brings to the surface questions of identity, class, and race among the flying public. Considering the cases of Kulula.com and the failed Santaco Airlines, this chapter highlights how the democratization of aeromobility in Southern Africa pushes the boundaries of the normative cultures of air travel.