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*On this date in 2011, the official launch Santaco Airlines occurred. Santaco Airlines is South Africa's first fully Black-owned airline.
They offer a door-to-door service for the black South Africans who make up the biggest proportion of commuters using minibus taxis. While the taxi industry's poor reputation has left many South Africans feeling nervous about the new airline venture, Santaco Airlines is trying to clean up its image. Unlike accident-prone minibus drivers, airline crews will be sourced from a charter company already operating out of Johannesburg and will provide aircraft, crew and licenses - addressing safety concerns.
The taxi council's president, Mri Mthembu said the airline would bring dignity to those whose only experience of air travel has been seeing a plane in the sky. "The South African National Taxi Council" which represents 95% of taxi operators made their initial announcement on June 29th 2011, and said that is planned for the when tickets would start to be sold, and it is planned for the new airline to start flying commercial flights in November 2011 in time for the December holidays. Starting up a low cost airline is tough business. Running a profitable airline is even harder. From start-up airlines to established industry leaders, the process involves constant learning and adaptation.
Few businesses have as many variables and challenges as airlines. They are capital intensive. Competition is fierce Santaco Airlines, companies are fossil fuel dependent and often at the mercy of fuel price volatility. Operations are labor intensive and subject to government control and political influence. A lot depends on the weather conditions. Santaco Express Airlines aim's to strategically exploit various gaps within the South African travel and tourism industry, to reduce costs and attract a new and previously excluded passenger.
This will introduce a new breed of local and international travelers to the airline market and become the first choice airline in South Africa for the masses.