FlySafair makes traveling hassle-free with Clickatell Chat Commerce

23 March 2023
Read Time: 4 minutes

FlySafair is South Africa's true low-cost airline, launched in October 2014, and has expanded fast, linking several key destinations in South Africa, and now flying to Mauritius and Zanzibar too. FlySafair is a very dynamic company that prides itself on being forward-thinking and innovative. Safair is the holding company that owns FlySafair. With over 52 years’ experience in the aviation industry this South African stalwart brings both high-level expertise and good solid values to the table. FlySafair has been radically transforming domestic air travel in South Africa and is one of the most exciting companies to work for today.

Company WebsiteRead more

Company Size

500+ employees employees


Johannesburg, South Africa

Products Used

Channel: WhatsApp

Products: Chat Flow

Products: Chat Desk

Products: Chat 2 Pay

Ready to get started?

Table of Contents

    FlySafair is South Africa’s largest domestic, low-cost airline. Clickatell began working with FlySafair in 2021 when we partnered with them to roll out a WhatsApp customer communication channel.  The introduction of this widely popular messaging app with integration to the Clickatell platform has received a lot of positive responses from FlySafair customers specifically around the increased customer communication along their travel journey.  

    FlySafair uses the Clickatell platform for its WhatsApp service offering. This includes WhatsApp access and platform applications Chat Flow, Chat Desk, and Chat 2 Pay, which enables in-messaging payments via Visa Cybersource. 

    “As an airline obsessed with efficiency and maintaining our reputation for being the most on-time airline, we are always looking for new ways to improve the customer journey and our internal processes to ensure superior customer experiences. So when Clickatell approached us about their Chat Commerce Platform, we knew we had to jump at the opportunity.”

    Eswee Vorster, FlySafair Executive Manager and CIO

    The Challenge   

    Staying Ahead of Rapid Growth  

    As local and international tourism in South Africa picks up, airlines are still hunting for ways to tame the high costs in an industry already plagued by razor-slim margins. One South African airline that is seizing the industry opportunity by expanding and integrating mobile messaging to efficiently serve its customers is low-cost airline, FlySafair. 
    In answering the growing demand for affordable travel, FlySafair has recently added new routes to its existing schedule as well as new aircraft. To better manage these new routes and added capacity, the airline was looking for ways to effectively serve its rapidly growing passenger list. The airline was particularly interested in finding ways that would fulfill customer preference for digital channels to provide them with time sensitive information like flight details, delays or cancellations, upgrades, boarding passes, and even the option to make quick, easy mobile payments when needed.  

    Quality customer service was also a primary consideration. Like every airline, managing a busy call center was a key challenge for FlySafair. The airline’s call center receives thousands of calls during a normal day, with call volumes increasing significantly during promotional runs.  

    Reducing pressure on call center agents, decreasing the wait time in queues at the airport, and empowering customers to manage their bookings themselves, including enabling them to make mobile purchases, were attractive options for FlySafair and key motivators for them to contact the Clickatell team for help.  

    The Solution  

    A Comprehensive, Next Gen Passenger Experience 

    In 2021, FlySafair launched its WhatsApp customer communication channel, expanding their customer service offering by leveraging the messaging app that is used by 96% of South Africa’s population.  

    The Clickatell platform makes it possible for FlySafair to provide customers the means to find helpful information, connect with a customer service agent, and make a purchase by simply sending “Hi” on WhatsApp to FlySafair’s dedicated WhatsApp number +27 87 357 0030.  

    “Our customers can efficiently manage their travel experience in chat. From accessing helpful information, receiving their boarding passes, check-in via WhatsApp, and can even request a call back from a call center agent if they need in-person support. As our Chat Commerce Partner, Clickatell enables us to offer customer service more effectively and efficiently through WhatsApp.”

    Eswee Vorster, FlySafair Executive Manager and CIO

    The FlySafair WhatsApp channel hosts key information about flight cancellations and changes, luggage restrictions, identity requirements, as well as the option to chat with a live agent. Customers can also choose to receive their boarding pass on WhatsApp, significantly improving and streamlining the passenger experience. In addition, customers can also make quick and secure payments via FlySafair’s WhatsApp channel for their luggage. There is no need any more for FlySafair’s customers to go stand in a queue at the airport to pay for luggage. 

    FlySafair makes full use of the Clickatell platform and its applications. Clickatell’s digital contact center tool, Chat Desk, which allows organizations to run and manage live agent support in chat, has enabled FlySafair to resolve basic customer queries faster.   

    Clickatell’s workflow builder and automation tool, Chat Flow allows FlySafair teams to design intelligent self-service engagements for their customers, ensuring ongoing improvements based on customer behavior. Great self-service has been an important part of the FlySafair WhatsApp channel, especially when it comes to reducing pressure on the airline's busy call centers and ground crew at airports.  

    FlySafair also leverages the Clickatell platform's Chat 2 Pay solution which integrates Visa Cybersource’s payment and fraud management platform to enable passengers to make faster, secure, and more convenient mobile payments to the airline via FlySafair’s WhatsApp channel. Passengers can now make purchases and payments, such as luggage fees, in advance, and avoid standing in lines at the airport to make the purchase.  

    The Result  

    Improved Convenience and Increased Customer Satisfaction 

    The Clickatell Chat Commerce solution has helped FlySafair improve communication during their customers’ their travel journey, providing passengers a more convenient experience, allowing them to use their preferred messaging app to make payments, check in to flights, and access customer service. And by being first in market to enable Chat Commerce, FlySafair has set itself apart as a travel brand committed to providing its customers the most robust and convenient customer experience. 

    FlySafair has seen significant, rapid customer adoption and use of its WhatsApp customer communication channel. On average each month more than 30,000 passengers check in to their flight using WhatsApp, more than 12,000 people use WhatsApp to be notified of flight status, more than 5,000 people request help to chat with a live agent.

    “Constant technical innovation has enabled low-cost airlines to make their mark and truly compete with the established carriers. We see chat technology as a game changer for us going forward. Not only does it perform the basics very well, but it allows us to better understand travelers.”

    Eswee Vorster, FlySafair Executive Manager and CIO

     About Clickatell 

    Clickatell is the global Chat Commerce leader powering businesses to connect, interact and transact with consumers anytime, anywhere in chat. The low / no-code, feature-rich Chat Commerce Platform sits at the intersection of communications (CPaaS, CCaaS) and commerce (digital payments). Clickatell serves over 10,000 customers, including Fortune 50 brands. Clickatell is headquartered in Silicon Valley, CA, and has offices in Canada, South Africa and Nigeria. Learn more at www.clickatell.com.     

    Step into the future of business messaging.

    SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.