FlyGoAir suspends all flights

2015-12-09 11:06
(Fly Go Air, Facebook)

(Fly Go Air, Facebook)

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CONTROVERSIAL local airline ­FlyGoAir has officially suspended all flights to and from the Pietermaritzburg Airport “pending an investigation”.

The airline sent e-mails, which The Witness has seen, notifying passengers of the suspension of the flights, saying that “the situation has ­become out of our control”.

The e-mail, sent from the airline’s IT department, further told customers to provide them with the “necessary ­details” in order for them to process ­refunds and credits.

When contacted by The Witness ­regarding the suspension of flights, CEO of FlyGoAir Reg Sivsankar told the ­journalist to “Now f**k off”.

This was following a media inquiry that was e-mailed to Sivsankar yesterday asking him about the suspension of flights and the pending investigation they referred to in their e-mail to ­passengers. The reporter then sent a text message to Sivsankar referring him to the e-mail sent earlier.

Sivsankar did not respond to the ­reporter’s questions, however he said he had opened a case of intimidation, ­harassment and defamation of character against the reporter and would deal with passengers directly. He then ended that text message with, “Now go f**k ­yourself”.

When questioned about the case that he allegedly opened, Sivsankar again ­resorted to profanities.

FlyGoAir recently came under fire from irate customers, some claiming they had been left stranded at airports with no staff or planes in sight.

Some passengers who booked flights from the Pietermaritzburg Airport also relayed stories of how they were taken to Durban in the early hours of the ­morning to get a different flight with ­another airline.

In October, Sivsankar, then claimed that they were being sabotaged by staff of SA Airlink and laid charges with the South African Police Services.

Sivsankar later claimed that ­passengers, quoted in the newspaper, were missing flights because they were not supplying the correct information and, in many cases, not getting to the correct boarding gates or not getting to the gates on time.

Pietermaritzburg Airport manager Alvin Naidoo yesterday said that the ­airport was not responsible for any ­dealings between airlines and passengers. Naidoo said he had been inundated with queries and complaints from ­frustrated FlyGoAir customers.

“The airport has no authority over dealings between passengers and their service providers. We control the ­airport, security, arrivals and departures of aircrafts and fire fighting services,” said Naidoo.

However, Naidoo said that when ­passengers approached him after ­“hassles” with FlyGoAir, “the airport tried to assist where possible”.

“If passengers need to resolve any ­issues with airlines then they would have to communicate directly with the airline. The airport has no authority in this ­regard,” stressed Naidoo.

He added that the Pietermaritzburg Airport has always “stood proud” and wants to keep the image of the airport high.

“I don’t want the airport to suffer ­reputational damages,” he said.

In a recent article published in The Witness, Sivsankar said the airline did not own any aircraft and was leasing planes from specialist aircraft leasing company CemAir.

However, CemAir CEO Miles van der Molen said that they only had a ­one-week arrangement with Sivsankar.

“FlyGoAir approached us to lease a 19-seater plane for the first week of their operation in October. After that week, he [Sivsankar] said he wanted a bigger aircraft and we couldn’t help him so I think he may have gone elsewhere to lease a plane but I cannot confirm if he eventually got a plane,” said Van der Molen.

He alleged that FlyGoAir’s account was still in arrears and that there is an outstanding amount owing to CemAir for the leasing of the aircraft.

Van der Molen said that he was aware of FlyGoAir passengers being left stranded at airports and on a few ­occasions “out of goodwill” assisted in flying passengers to their destinations.

“We don’t want the airline industry to get a bad name. It is a tough industry and with passengers being left stranded, they will eventually lose faith in our services,” said Van der Molen.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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