Kulula.com: The Trials and Tribulations of a South African: Online Airline Anesh Maniraj Singh
University of Durban
Kulula.com was launched in August 2001 as the first online airline in South Africa. Kulula is one of two airlines that are operated by Comair Ltd. British Airways IBA), the other airline that Comair runs, is a full-service franchise operation that serves the South African do mestic market. Kulula, unlike BA, is a limited-service operation aimed at providing low fares to a wider domestic market using five aircraft. Since its inception, Kulula has rein vented air travel in South Africa, making it possible for more people to fly than ever before Kulula is a true South African e-commerce success. The company boasts as one of its successes the fact that it has been profitable from day one. It is recognized international among the top low-cost airtines and participated in a conference attended by other such internationally known low-cost carriers as Virgin Blue, Ryanair, and easy Jet. Kulula also received an award from the South African Department of Trade and Industry for being Technology Top 1 00 company. Kulula's success is based on its clearty defined strategy of being the lowest-cost provider in the South African domestic air travel industry. To this end, Kulula has adopted a no-frills approach. Staff and cabin crew wear simple uniforms, and the company has n airport lounges. There are no business class seats and no frequent-flyer programs. Customers pay for their food and drinks. ln addition, Kulula does not issue paper tickets, an very few travel agents book its ftights-90 percent of tickets are sold directly to customers. Furthermore, customers have to pay for ticket changes, and the company has a policy of “no fly, no refund." Yet, in its drive to keep costs down, Kulula does not compromise on maintenance and safety, and it employs the best pilots and meets the highest safety standards. Like all B2C companies, Kulula aims to create customer...
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