FlySafair and Pick n Pay today announced a new partnership, which will open up air travel opportunities for millions of South Africans. Travellers will now be able to book tickets online on the FlySafair Web site and elect to make payment at their local Pick n Pay.
Alternately, tickets can be booked and paid for at the new Pick n Pay Money Counters rolling out this year in selected stores across the country.

“Our promise is simple: we want to offer affordable, easy and on-time air travel and this partnership is a great way for us to deliver on that promise for even more people,” says FlySafair CEO, Elmar Conradie.

Richard van Rensburg Deputy CEO of Pick n Pay says: “Through this partnership with FlySafair, customers who want a great deal can pay for their flights with cash or card at any Pick n Pay store. Customers also have the option of switching their smart shopper points and paying for flights in-store. We are proud to have FlySafair in our basket of value added service offerings.”

In March 2015 Effective Measure published their annual state of South African eCommerce report, which indicated that distrust around online payment methods is one of the largest barriers to eCommerce in the country. Airline tickets are the second most popular online purchase (second only to books), but 32,4% of people still indicated that they don’t trust online payment systems. In support of that, 40,1% indicated that they would make more online purchases if there was an alternate payment method at hand, which they considered more trustworthy.

“For FlySafair, this move is certainly in support of the shopping needs of existing online shoppers” adds Conradie. “But we also see this as a way to make our service available to those that don’t have credit card facilities.”

MasterCard conducted a study called Measuring Progress Toward a Cashless Society in 2013 which indicated that cash still accounts for 85% of global consumer transactions. In South Africa only 6% of consumer transactions are done using cashless methods. “We’ve brought pricing to the market that makes air travel available to more South Africans, and the next logical step is to ensure that people can actually access the service,” continues Conradie. “This move is just the first of many innovations that we intend to truly make air travel in South Africa accessible to more people.”

This move is very much in line with an international trend which sees online retailers moving away from a pure-play online model into a hybrid online-offline retail model. Speaking at the prestigious Digital Life Design 15 conference earlier this year, Scott Goloway from NYU’s Stern Business School, predicted that will make a significant brick and mortar retail acquisition in the next 12 months, because in his words “they have no choice”.

“It’s becoming apparent the world over that a physical presence is essential for any ostensibly online business, and we are no exception in this regard,” concludes Conradie.