Kulula Airline (Zulu for ‘easily’) is South Africa’s first low fare airline. It first took flight in 2001.
How to build your own niche: With a small fleet of aircraft, which consisted of one Boeing 737-200 (118 seats), one Boeing 737-300 (136 seats), seven Boeing 737-400′s (162 seats) and two 737-800′s (186 seats) getting noticed would be their biggest task. Most low cost airlines had already done tricked up paint jobs, emblazoned their website or web url on the side of the aircraft as on a billboard, and used funny mascots.
Even large conservative airlines which normally would have the same uniform paint job on their entire fleet for brand consistency, were starting to break out in order to look young, and cool and hip.
Kulula went and created a really quirky niche which it now “owns”. (If any other airline tries to mimic them, they will simply look like lame and clueless copycats).
It went bananas with their exterior, making the livery a playful game in which the observer or passenger can participate and discover new things each time: “Airline 101” Designs that reflect the kooky culture and personality of the company. BELOW: “This Way Up”
NEXT: The Big Cheese “Captain, my captain”
How about an explanatory diagram pointing out all the features and components of the aircraft? “Co-Captain: the other chap on the PA system” “Sun Roof” “Front Door – always open unless we’re at 41,000 feet” Plus a mustache on the nose cone for Movember. Look at all the details…really funny!
There is a whole gallery of pictures of Kulula’s quirky, crazy, fun fleet of planes here and much more captured by fans and posted to the company’s Facebook page.
When onboard, one would kind of expect the joking and tomfoolery to continue and it does! Here are a few inflight announcements:
“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”
“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite.”
“Please pay attention to the safety announcement, because you will be writing a test shortly”.
“If you are caught smoking, you will be asked to leave the aircraft in flight”.
“Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”
“You could be fined up to R7999 for smoking on the plane, and for these prices you could be flying SAA” (South Africa’s national airline which charges normal prices like any other international airline)
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed in Cape Town . Please take all your possessions. Anything left behind will be shared equally between staff. Please note we do not accept unwanted mothers-in-law or children.”
“To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull the belt tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one by now, then you probably shouldn’t be allowed out in public unsupervised.”
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”
“Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”
“Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”
“Welcome to Johannesburg, if this is not where you were intending to go then you have a bit of a problem.”
“Me Tarzan, You on hold”, when phoning Kulula and being put on hold.
Kulula Airlines humour after hard landings
After a hard landing on a Kulula flight into Cape Town, “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”
After a bumpy landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”
After a less than perfect of a landing on a Kulula flight to Johannesburg, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.”
Thank you for flying Kulula Airlines
“Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”
“We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”
“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
Kulula Airline “Top Gun” ad
Kulula Airline safety instruction