Velvet Sky hit by 'commercial issues'

2012-02-23 12:37

Cape Town - Flights on Velvet Sky have been delayed as a result of "commercial issues", the low-cost airline said on Thursday.

The black economic empowerment company is based in Durban and flies between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Flights were delayed for several hours on Wednesday after “commercial issues" that arose between Velvet Sky Aviation and a service provider. No flights were cancelled, the airline pointed out.

“Passengers can expect delays for most of today [Thursday],” Solomon Makgale, spokesperson for Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) told News24.

“As of 10:00 this morning, none of Velvet Sky's flights have departed in accordance with the schedule.”

Circumstances beyond its control

Velvet Sky said the delays were caused by circumstances beyond its control.

Passengers stuck at Cape Town airport on Wednesday were unable to book onto other airlines because flights were full after the Budget address in Parliament. Flights were delayed with up to four hours. All passengers were flown out by late in the evening.

“We would like to apologise to those passengers who are inconvenienced due to the delayed flights. These delays were caused by circumstances beyond our control. “

- Velvet Sky urged passengers to contact the call centre at 0861 835 838 for any queries.

- Have you been affected? Send us your stories and photos.

  • Carlo Hayes - 2012-02-23 12:42

    Bee no wonder!

      procold2 - 2012-02-23 13:31

      jup,they never paid one of their suppliers,think it was the technical guys.

      Ettienne - 2012-02-23 13:56

      I flew this airline to Durban some time back. SAME OLD STORY. I claimed my money back even after having to fly out and not be able to attend my meeting. So my suggestion to those inconvenienced, get some form of compensation if not your monies back. Really a useless airline.

      Thando - 2012-02-23 14:16

      Yes no wonder - I mean none of the white owned airlines around the world have ever had issues like this, right ? This is a first in the industry ?

      tsndou - 2012-02-23 14:22

      Shooter, it isthe results more than 300 years of colonial oppression and colonialism and continued denial to quality education to the oppressed.

      alwynb - 2012-02-23 14:52

      @tsndou, time to stop the excuses! The leading criminal gangs in the country were ANC trained (according to cash in transit heist reports) and ATM bombings etc etc. If they spent as much energy & mindpower on being honest and efficient this country could would the airline!

      Johan - 2012-02-23 15:18

      @tsndou...Yip but at least you have learned one thing. 'I don’t have to take the blame for my I can blame the apartheid or crap education or just the next whitey that walks past.' As long as you have that mentality you will need a government to get you into jobs and sports teams with some obscure law

  • Mary - 2012-02-23 12:47


      Silvana - 2012-02-23 12:58

      Mary, African Time has absolutely nothing to do with it. If you read the article, it was a "commercial" issue that delayed the flights.

      Hugh - 2012-02-23 13:02

      Correct, they failed to pay their Technical contractors, hence were unqualified to take off.

      AntonKingsize - 2012-02-23 14:58


  • Mike - 2012-02-23 12:51

    The taxi's were late?

      Lerato - 2012-02-23 13:26

      This is "Velvet Sky" not "SANTACO Airline"?

      Koos - 2012-02-23 14:05

      Actually Lerato this is indeed "Taxi Air". Mike got it spot-on! Fly at own risk.

      David - 2012-02-23 16:08

      No Koos it is not...Velvet Sky has been flying for a while...Santaco is yet to start commercial services.

      Mike - 2012-02-23 16:14

      @David: Perhaps you are loosing the point of my comment? I flew many airlines in my life and yes, they all experienced (even international flights) delays. Yet, unless international emergency, there ain't any excuse!

  • Lucky Manaswe - 2012-02-23 12:56

    You get what you pay for.

  • Silvana - 2012-02-23 12:56

    I love "politically correct" terminology. "commercial issues" LOL You haven't paid your account with the airpoert. Crickey, how long have they been in business - a couple of months, and they've already defaulted. It would be interesting to see what level of maintenance these planes get. I wouldn't use them even if the flight was free.

  • Sharon - 2012-02-23 13:05

    As a matter of interest it wasn't a 4 hour delay but up to 6 hours. A 90 year old Passenger i.e my mother & Friend, were both left to fend for themselves. With no assistance at all. They had to enquire from other passengers what the "delay" was. The que for the refund was a mile long and the baggage que was even longer. My poor mother and her friend had no assistance in collecting her baggage at all nor any shuttele to transport them back to their homes. Needless to mention my Brother had to book another flight for their departure this morning to JHB. This is absolutely shocking and needless to say Velvet Sky will never be used again!!!

      Ian - 2012-02-23 13:18

      So typically BEE

      RobertKeeling - 2012-02-23 13:38

      Stick with the guys that know what they're doing. This bunch thought they could get into the air transport business to make a quick buck. Doesn't work that way.

  • johnwilliam.roberts - 2012-02-23 13:12

    curry airways i flew them once never again !id rather walk !!

      Thando - 2012-02-23 20:33

      you racists are pathetic. The fact that you keep referring to anything connected to indians with curry proves that you people are simpletons. Let me play your game too ! Since i associate the comment section of News24 with you filthy racists, from now on i'll call it DutchMan24

      Angling - 2012-02-23 22:07

      You will never walk alone.

  • Richard - 2012-02-23 13:12

    Commercial issues? Sounds like they did not pay their bills. They will not be around very long unless they also get bailed out with our tax money.

  • Riddick - 2012-02-23 13:13

    No Bells for that guy!!! LOL

  • Shaun - 2012-02-23 13:14

    Could be the beginning of the end for this Airline in my opinion - looks like money issues

      wally.snr - 2012-02-23 13:31

      Someone dipping into the till//???????

  • IcemanGP - 2012-02-23 13:15

    Eish, was looking for some strong wire to hold the brakes on.

  • Danny - 2012-02-23 13:15

    that didn't take long...

  • Phillip - 2012-02-23 13:20

    Have flown with them a number of times and they rate the same as all the other low-cost carriers, with the exception that they are about 10% cheaper than the rest. Hope they don't follow the Sun-Air route into oblivion.

      David - 2012-02-23 16:09

      Agreed! I have ised them and they are ON TIME...not like stoopid Kulula who have no concept of time at all.

  • Herbert - 2012-02-23 13:20

    Funny when Flitestar and Phoenix and Nationwide went under no one blamed BEE, now when Velvet has a wobble the usual ignorant knee jerk prejudices get dragged up. no hope for some of you.

      Albert - 2012-02-23 13:35

      Herbert now why did Nationwide go under? Let me inform you. I know the head investigator on the Nationwide flight that lost its turbine on the flight from Cape Town to JHB. It was due to negligence on the maintenance of their air crafts. In other words they had no cash flow to maintain their air crafts. That had nothing to do with BEE. Velvet Sky announced that the are a BEE Company. Look what happened. Directors lining their pockets and leaving the average joe soap stranded. I wonder if Malema has a hand in this company?

      Nosiphom - 2012-02-23 13:41


      bennievanderwesthuizen - 2012-02-23 13:47

      Same people run the scary bus service Roadlink ...... that shoudl tell the story alone

      Peter - 2012-02-23 14:42

      lining their pockets with R300 seats, i think not.

      Richard - 2012-02-23 14:49

      Herbert, Nationwide was sabotaged period, new players wanted to enter and with nationwide enjoying most of the market.... this is africa

      Sergio - 2012-02-23 18:29

      I was just about to say the same thing.. thank god u hought of b4 me....

  • peter.vandermerwe3 - 2012-02-23 13:22

    Velvet Airlines...too smooth to fly.LOL

  • Lucky Manaswe - 2012-02-23 13:27

    Is very risky to use airlines that have financial problems, not only will u experience flight delays(which won't kill u) but also emergency landing or your flight having to return quickly to the airport after take off that's if when you are lucky. Obviously they might cut costs in maintenance or hiring of inexperience pilots. Then again you might find out most of their money goes to maintenance, pilot training etc to ensure they provide safe service but I doubt this. When I fly I always make sure is with a reputable airline no matter the cost.

      Philisiwe Msomi - 2012-02-23 13:35

      exactly, with such problems how do you trust that after taking off you will safe!!

  • gary.haylett1 - 2012-02-23 13:28

    Well no use trying the call centre number either, its also got "commercial issues"

  • John - 2012-02-23 13:32

    Eish... Not quite the same as driving a taxi... You can't jump the lights, force your way to the front or take off with the wind. You now need a legal licence, permits and "skyworthy" wheels...

      Koos - 2012-02-23 14:09

      Maybe a shadow plane or two.......

  • Robert - 2012-02-23 13:37

    Typical - cant get its house in order. Some bright spark has probably run away with the money or they have not paid their accounts on time. Cheap and nasty !!!

  • Watt - 2012-02-23 13:42

    No refunds also anymore all fights are cancelled. This is the news from the airport

  • Nosiphom - 2012-02-23 13:48

    A budget austrilian carrier just went under and none of you idiots blamed BEE. The fact that velvet has some BEE credentials is not the reason for their failure, they simple id not have the cash to keep the business afloat. Their revenue could simple not sustain their cost base idiots. And ACSA raised their taxes too ! This is business not politics. We should not celebrate when a business goes under - some people were employed and now they have to apply for all sorts of grants and UIF, which we will have to fork out. Its a real pity. I am not their spokes person, but its a sad day! SAA charges exhorbitant fairs and also takes our money to pay their executives fat bonuses, is that better ? That is the "reputable" ailine we will be left with because their budget Mango is also not reputable,]. Thinke before you comment idiots!

      dugmax - 2012-02-23 14:39

      hey the only sensible comment out of the lot of idiots.

      Deon - 2012-02-23 14:42

      When businesses suffer you have to pay yourself (bosses) last, if at all. Let us hope they tried that and no one can point fingers then.

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-02-23 15:31

      No-one blamed BEE because they don't have all this BEE AA crap in Australia!!

      Gail - 2012-02-23 16:25

      There is a global recession and we have ALL been affected. Look at the price of Brent Crude which is resulting in escalating prices of fuel which affects everything. Unfortunately this airline here possibly did not factor in the effects of future costs, possibly because money doesn't necessarily equate to financial skills if it is the result of tenderpreneurship by people who know noting about how the real business world works and about factoring in future events such as fuel increases. It is sad that the consumer has to be the victim all the time but hopefully this will be a learning curve for those involved at management levels. Sad to think of those who were employed losing their jobs with the resultant impact it has on their families but we should not see this as a uniquely South African problem. It is global and there are no easy answers except that the politicos realise that a political position is not a quick way to make huge money and lead by example through austerity measures such as cutting down on extra shadow planes and extra wives and mansions and flashy cars and weddings etc.

  • lntshabele - 2012-02-23 14:02

    The money you pay says it all.

  • Sean - 2012-02-23 14:25


  • Yolanda - 2012-02-23 14:30

    Everyone is going on about the flights being delayed because the airline is BEE controlled. Kulula, SAA, British Airlines etc also get delayed on numerous occassions and i've never seen one published apology for those delays.

      Nosiphom - 2012-02-23 14:41

      That is what is shocking me Yolanda. Non-BEE airlines go under every second month overseas and none of these morons commenting here ever talk about BEE being the cause.

      Gail - 2012-02-23 16:33

      Nor heard it when one does finally take off in the form of an apology from the airline. It is not unique to SA though and we must stop playing the victim all the time. Be grateful you didn't get on the plane and have it fall out of the sky for some unnamed reason. A few years ago my Qatar flight was delayed for about two hours. Nobody either at the boarding gate nor on the flight could tell us what the delay was and it resulted in my missing a connection in Doha and having to sit and wait in a pathetic transit lounge for nearly three hours to catch a 30 minute flight. I shall be better prepared this time around.

  • georgelza - 2012-02-23 14:54

    Hi there There was def flights cancelled on Wednesday, my wives boss's brother (released the previous week from hospital) and traveling with his boy had to find alternate flights last min she they got to ORT. G

  • AntonKingsize - 2012-02-23 15:01

    I flew yesterday from C.T. To Dbn, flight was delayed by 40 min and boarding by 30 min while they waited for a fuel truck to come fuel the full flight . . I imagine this was the last plane fueled out of C.T. Before the financial crap hit the fan . .

  • Anton - 2012-02-23 15:09

    Serves you right for naming your airline after a strip club

  • Tom - 2012-02-23 15:12

    @ Thando & Tsndou - yes must agree - just blame Apartheid. Like every other group that experienced trials and tribulations, challenges and loss of life on grand scale brushed themselves off, shook their heads clean and got on with it, got their hands dirty and succeeded! You frikin losers will always lose with that attitude....

      Thando - 2012-02-24 07:17

      Where did I blame apartheid ? Did you go to school and learn comprehension and reading ? Who is the loser here ?

  • Faizie - 2012-02-23 15:22

    Black Velvet, isnt that what they buried Whitney in.

  • markus.botha - 2012-02-23 15:23

    They lost my luggage last time it flew with them.

  • SJ - 2012-02-23 15:42

    I will never use them, as a matter of principle.

  • Mohsin - 2012-02-23 16:07


  • Simey de Klerk - 2012-02-23 16:16

    This is disappointing. Just goes to show, navigating airways is a different animal to navigating highways.

  • Leon - 2012-02-23 16:16

    OMG, they just had to throw "Black economic empowerment company" in there. Really? Get a life! it was as if they had to think of something that would get people to react to this stupid article. Just that whole line stands out like a white man at Durban beach on Christmas day. And we couldnt wait to take the bait. We really are sheep. Wonder how different the comments would have been if that line wasnt in there... So pathetic... shame man.

  • mireille.pretorius - 2012-02-23 16:37

    After being informed of a 3 hour delay of our flight from Durban to Johannesburg this morning, it changed to an indefinite delay. The 7 hour wait to eventually get on a Mango flight, threw our whole business schedule out for the next two days! Will Velvet Sky reimburse our business expenses lost due to their incompetence?! I bet they won't! Also, I'm not impressed with the way Velvet Sky dealt with this crisis. Ground personnel weren't fully informed, no spokesperson were provided to diffuse the situation and provide alternative suggestions, never mind arrangements. I can assure you, the R50 Wimpy meal vouchers we were given, do not explain this one away!

  • Belinda - 2012-02-23 17:58

    maybe... they strike because of the toll roads

  • brandondshore - 2012-02-23 19:18

    I arrived at OR Tambo airport at 4:30am, waiting for the 5:45am flight VZ 0300 to Cape Town. They first told us that there would be a 3 hour delay, then once that time frame had expired, they then said they would advise us at 12 o'clock midday on what time the flights would be leaving, 12:15pm and still no news. By this stage people had lost their sense of humour and finally just after 12:30 they announced that the flights were cancelled. It is an absolute joke how they kept people waiting for nothing, a "Refund" letter was on offer that stated the following at the top: "Please note:Completion of this form does not in any way constitute a commitment that Velvet Sky will process a refund." There was a spokesman present who may as well have been a mute because he could offer NO explanation, NO alternative arrangements or any sympathy for the stranded commuters. It got a bit out of hand and the Velvet spokesman had to be escorted away by security as a small scale riot was imminent but thankfully avoided. It was an absolute disgrace and I hope they get taken for everything they have and we all get the compensation we deserve. Why should we suffer because this poorly managed company cannot sort out their financial issues. There were a host of people who filmed this on their cellphones and I'm sure it will be on the news. Furthermore the other "low cost" airlines skyrocketed their prices to capitalize on the situation. A win for the corporate world today and a sad loss for humanity

  • natalie.march - 2012-02-24 08:49

    I did a test with there prices and Kulula and Kulula actually is cheaper, and i have never has any real problems with Kulula. Just hows you they come across as cheap.

  • Kabelo - 2012-02-24 14:08

    Just BTW, taxi's are hardly ever late... Taxi drivers can duck and dive anything.

  • Mandy - 2012-02-27 16:01

    why oh why is the contact for velvet sky queries engaged? what or whom are they engaging with, coz it sure as hell aint me! and i booked a flight with them.. and it makes my face sad now :( <---- look what you've done velvet! not so smooth after all. u should be hessian sky. all over my face. scratching and bleeding. the pain!!!!

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