1time closure: Readers disgusted with SAA bailout

2012-11-03 11:58
Cape Town - Low cost airline 1time closed for business on Friday, grounding more than 13 flights across the country and leaving more than 2 000 passengers stranded.

Statements by aviation industry and political figures alike about the R5bn bailout given to national carrier South African Airways (SAA), and how it has contributed to the situation 1time now finds itself in, have fueled heated public debate. Take a look at some of the comments left by news24 readers since the news of the airlines foreclosure was made public...

frank.vankaapstad - November 3, 2012 at 09:49 - I'm sure at a personal level "their hearts go out", but SAA remains a taxpayer funded entity and the airline industry in SA will never be free and fair. In the long run the consumer suffers. HendrikVerwoerd - November 3, 2012 at 06:57 - Listen, as a DA supporter and an employee at SAA, I find the comments from the DA unacceptable! Yes, SAA does get help from the government, but so does Eskom and all other state owned companies! Do you honestly think, that Comair gets no backing whatsoever from BA when they might be in trouble?! Comair and Kulula are just as much to blame as SAA! Or, perhaps 1Times management ill managed the company...! Each company is responsible for their own demise. I feel for the people at 1Time and their pax (believe me, I bought a ticket for gran with 1Time), but nobody can be blamed! Lets rather focus on fixing our country, water, electricity, rape, violence, farm murders, the list goes on!!!!! Back off of SAA, DA!!!

HedrickV - Not that there is any evidence that they have done so, but if BA wants to help Comair, it will do so with SHAREHOLDER money. BA is a PRIVATE company. They cut the strings with the UK government many years ago. Just like SAA should cut their strings to the SA government and taxpayer. Isn't it a fact that every time a customer buys a ticket in SAA it costs the taxpayer R800?

kagiso.booi - November 3, 2012 at 03:01 T- he DA is Uninformed or they deliberately chose to misrepresent the facts. Blaming 1time's demise on SAA is plain insult to public intelligence, for starters 1time, Kulula and Mango were charging almost the same price in fact Mango was always the most expensive of them all. Airline business rescue is a global phenomenon, lately American airlines plans to layoff 11 000 workers

dmitri.dumas.9 - November 3, 2012 at 05:44 - Usually the staff are the last to know. It happened at Flitestar, Phoenix, Sunair (both times), Nationwide, Interlink and a few others that I cannot recall now. It happened to me at Intensive Air. Flying the one minute and the next a passenger comes up and tells us that we have ceased operations. That is a shock to the system. I agree with some sentiments here - SAA, do what is right and accommodate the pax as the bottom line is, you get 6 billion bail out so do what is right.

Montagnes.Bleues - November 2, 2012 at 23:18 - R5billion has just been handed over to SAA on ANOTHER golden platter in order to exactly collapse these competing airlines. How many times have Rbillions and billions been handed over to SAA - and still competitors manage to come in most times better than the state pelican voracious airline. Turn to that little tribal nkandla idiot and ask for your money back.
 
karen.perkswoodward - November 3, 2012 at 05:22 - Do you really not understand what is meant by unfair competition practices? Do you really not see that SAA has capital available because of taxpayers' money and that this means that smaller, independent companies don't have the same, almost unlimited resources? Did you not see the statistics about the Western Cape and how more and more people are flocking here because our average percentages for employment and services are higher than the entire country's average! What does the Western Cape have that the rest of the SA does not? How I wish that my grade 7's could also reply here...black, coloroud and white...they would actually understand what the DA and the Comair representative is saying!

kagiso.booi - November 3, 2012 at 07:06 - Your love for DA is clouding your judgement, ok let's look at this statement: \r\nComair's Venter echoed her sentiments, but said due to the less efficient fleet 1time operated, the ultimate closure of the airline was \inevitable\. Does SAA controlled 1time's fleet? Having more capital does not necessarily mean good business practice, SAA is far more expensive than these cheap airline. Your talk about people flocking to WC is housewive gabbage, look at the stats qualitatively. How many people have flocked to Gauteng? The number of people who have moved to Gauteng in the past 10yrs is actually 40% of WC's population! And is GP complaining, people with serious and ambitious careers relocate to GP. I studied at UCT and 80% of my classmates are here, what's there for an actuary in WC? Even Old Mutual have kissed the clean streets of Cape Town goodbye and moved to Jozi

kagiso.booi - November 3, 2012 at 08:01 - 1time was competing with Mango and Kulula. Is Kulula being funded by the british gvt? Kulula did make an impressive profit because of good business acumen. Anyway that's the SA mentality anything that fails blame it on the gvt or apartheid 1st and never address the real issues. Kulula does not want mango around because they want to control flight prices, if mango gives in we will be paying R2.5k CT-JBG route.

Brendon Lotter - November 3, 2012 at 06:34 - Listen, as a DA supporter and an employee at SAA, I find the comments from the DA unacceptable! Yes, SAA does get help from the government, but so does Eskom and all other state owned companies! Do you honestly think, that Comair gets no backing whatsoever from BA when they might be in trouble?! Comair and Kulula are just as much to blame as SAA! Or, perhaps 1Times management ill managed the company...! Each company is responsible for their own demise. I feel for the people at 1Time and their pax (believe me, I bought a ticket for gran with 1Time), but nobody can be blamed! Lets rather focus on fixing our country, water, electricity, rape, violence, farm murders, the list goes on!!!!! Back off of SAA, DA!!! Erna - November 3, 2012 at 06:48 You miss the point completely. The fact that Escom and other parastatals get bailed out doesn't change the facts. SAA/Mango would have been in the same position if they hadn't been bailed out with billions over the years! This gives it an unfair advantage.

Zipho Mavimbela - November 3, 2012 at 06:47 - Another one bites the dust, too bad for the consumer! it's the nature of the beast- competition and free market forces, SAA needs a bail out precisely 'cos of that too. States anywhere in the world always bail out national airlines, just as UK will always bail out BA, otherwise there'd b no airlines left and its a matter of National Pride.

brendan.k.shaw - November 3, 2012 at 08:06 - Trying to play both sides of the fence to see which one benefits you the most? The fact is the government is using our taxes to help an airline that is always asking for handouts. Soon there will not be money to help them out anymore. What you going to do then?

DieWitKaptyn - November 3, 2012 at 07:08 - I wonder if anyone knows, if the DA knows itself, that its leader in Gauteng, Brandon Topham, is a director of the now liquidated 1Time airlines? Brandon?, if you're out there... What's your comment now?

mo.haarhoff - November 3, 2012 at 07:37 - Agree with the DA on this. It should be SAA in this position, not 1time.

Brendon Lotter - November 3, 2012 at 07:52 - What's wrong with you?! Do you realise that if SAA had to close its doors, more then 20000 people will be without jobs! Is that what you want?! I work for SAA and I have a family to support too! My God, think before you say such stupid and heartless things!!!

johan.steyn.714 - November 3, 2012 at 08:09 - Brendon, rather you think what you say!! So rather 1time staff lose their jobs before SAA staff do. Think what you say. Its because of our tax money that you still have a job!

THE.MACHABA - November 3, 2012 at 07:45 - Dear Mrs Micheals, As the DA spokesperson on public enterprises, you really ought to educate yourself on what is happening within public enterprises like SAA. Your ignorance on this issue is actually quiet amazing! Do you know what the difference between a BAILOUT and loan guarantee is? Either you don't, which means you really are just another incompetent politician or worse, you do, which means you are just trying to score cheap political points on the back of the misery facing the hundreds of 1Time employees and their families. Let me help you with a few facts - 1. Until such time that the oil price goes above a certain level no money is gonna be paid over to SAA or anyone on behalf of SAA from the treasury. 2. The guarantee was given so SAA can be able to raise funds with PRIVATE institutions. So no public funds have actually been spent. Any company, you beloved Comair included approaches its shareholders for such assistance. SAA is no different. As an apolitical SAA employee I'm dismayed that you, who is supposed to be the ruling party's counter balance when it comes to public enterprises, are hell bent on destroying SAA and its reputation. Forgetting that SAA employes over 10000 South Africans you play to the tune of Comair which actually has no vested interest in SA but is a subsidiary of or our national pride but flies the colors of BRITISH AIRWAYS! Please educate yourself on the facts before commenting on matters you obviously are completely ignorant on.

brendan.k.shaw - November 3, 2012 at 08:01 - I'm sure the government will thank you for being their spokesperson. Fact is our tax money is being used to fund a government parastatal which gets rewarded for mediocrity and poor management.

flysouth - November 3, 2012 at 09:02 - You do not know what you are talking about - fact is that the guarantee is an instrument which allows a failed airline, SAA to continue trading when it should by all normal economic rules have already shut down! In addition there have been actual bailouts in the past - again if those had not been advanced then the airline would have closed shop. SAA is an organisation which has been on life support for years and has lost billions and continues to do so. When SAA loses money, unlike 1Time etc, then it is the taxpayer's money and that is where the difference lies! Without being propped up by tax payers money it would have already been gone, thus levelling the field for all airlines in SA who live or die by their ability to operate within purely commercial rules and parameters.

carryn.whittaker - November 3, 2012 at 09:21 - Dear Machaba the definition of bailout is to rescue someone or something from trouble or difficulty. I believe a loan guarantee might be viewed as a bailout if it enables capital to be raised as a direct consequence of the guarantee provided. I think you are playing politics yourself here by using the narrowest of definitions in an attempt to get some traction. My question to you is if SAA has a guarantee enabling it to raise funds from private institutions then is it not being given an unfair advantage in the market place? The playing field is not level - fact. SAA is only alive today because of its unfair advantage - fact. The is no amount of flowery language that can change the truth. You and you fellow employees are working for an enterprise that only exists because it is propped up by the rest of us - the people who actually have to work efficiently to stay employed. So instead of ranting perhaps you should thank me. The loan guarantee that my tax money has provided your company is feeding your children!
Read more on:    1time  |  travel south africa  |  aviation  |  flights
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