Calls to dump PMB’s new jet

2007-12-04 00:00

PASSENGERS who have used the new SA Airlink BAE jet service have had several bad experiences, to the extent that they are calling for the reinstatement of the old “vomit comets”, as contending with the problems encountered are not worth the prestige of having the flights.

In the most recent occurrence on Thursday, passengers were made to wait for an hour on the airport bus to get to the plane after the flight was delayed twice.

When they got to the plane, it was in darkness. Ten minutes before landing, they were told that the plane could not land due to a technical failure. The plane was flown to Durban and passengers had to make their way to Pietermaritzburg, getting home after midnight.

Pietermaritzburg Tourism director Melanie Veness, who was aboard the flight, said that the flight delay and all the technical complications were immensely frustrating and will have a negative impact on tourism.

“We need the Airlink flights to work for tourism as all these delays are having a negative impact on the airport. Word of mouth travels fast and if the delays continue then people will choose to fly from Durban,” Veness said.

She believes that Airlink’s flight problems minimise the city’s chances of benefiting from the 2010 Soccer World Cup boom.

Airlink introduced the bigger jet to offer a better service than the older, smaller Jetstream aircraft on the Pietermaritzburg-Johannesburg route.

Last month, Airlink’s jet flying from the O.R. Tambo airport to Pietermaritzburg was delayed and was then turned back without much explanation.

Passengers were left stranded overnight at the Johannesburg airport. Airlink was criticised for being unco-operative and failing to provide passengers with answers regarding the delays.

When The Witness contacted Karin Murray of Airlink about the delays and diversions, she said that she is aware of the problems and has received complaints from several passengers, but would need to investigate the facts of the recent incident in order to provide The Witness with the correct information.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.