Velvet Sky sees positives despite grounding

2012-02-27 18:43

Johannesburg - All Velvet Sky flights have been suspended until March 5, the low-cost airline said on Monday.

"As a result of recent events, the negative impact on business, the adverse publicity, Excalibur Aerospace wishes to announce the suspension of all its Velvet Sky flights, from Monday, February 27 until Monday, March 5," the airline said in a statement.

Excalibur Aerospace was the majority owner of Velvet Sky airline.

"The suspension will allow the company time to reconstitute its board, and balance sheet, and re-align its short-term strategy. It will also allow the company time to properly resolve disputes with certain suppliers."

The airline had flight delays on Wednesday. All flights were cancelled on Thursday.

Velvet Sky spokesperson Gary Webb said at the time there was a dispute with a service provider. The airline was busy changing service providers, and the matter had not been concluded in time to allow flights to get off the ground.

After delays on Friday morning, flights were scheduled to continue around 14:00, and continued until about noon on Monday, Webb said.

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

Velvet Sky said customers holding reservations for dates during the suspension could change their bookings, or apply for a refund.

"The chairman and board are confident that the long-term outlook for Velvet Sky is positive, and that developments currently under discussion will significantly improve the company's position."

On Friday the airline, which allegedly owes BP Southern more than R29m for aviation fuel, was given until March 5 to respond to BP's application to provisionally liquidate the airline.

In the Pietermaritzburg High Court, BP's counsel Gerrie Roberts SC, said Velvet Sky had breached its undertaking to pay arrears by February 17, and had not kept up to date with current payments for aviation fuel.

"Velvet Sky has often delayed paying what was due to BP," he said.

He said the low-cost airline had known that BP would launch a provisional liquidation application on Friday, but had not responded.

Farouk Moosa SC, for Velvet Sky, said negotiations were taking place and denied claims that pilots had not been paid.

"Payments to staff are up to date," Moosa said.

Judge Johann Ploos van Amstel said while liquidation applications were usually urgent, he did not envisage problems should Velvet Sky be given until March 5 to respond, and adjourned the matter to March 7.

  • Gideon - 2012-02-27 18:55

    Yawn...enough already Gary and Co. You are the first troll airline ever, that's kindof a record. Go cut yourselves.

  • braamc - 2012-02-27 19:13

    I would rather wear my velvet jacket, that usually takes me places.

      Sharon - 2012-02-27 20:44

      Rumour has it that they will be giving no refunds. Instead they have opted to give each passenger a sixpack of Red Bull.

  • Kim - 2012-02-27 19:19

    Oh, this explains it all. They are BEE. Equals, zero service delivery once again. Viva ANC

      Makatikamusona - 2012-02-28 10:18

      VIVA ANC!!!!.Airlines seems to come and go but SAA still remain one of the realiable. VIVA

      drishworth - 2012-02-28 10:27

      makatika, SAA only stays alive because of the tax payer who subsidises it - unlike the other airlines which have to stay afloat based on their expertise and capabilities.

  • Viman Singh - 2012-02-27 19:20

    There is no way a new airline company is the country can now become a success story. Velvet sky should take their losses and close down. Sell the plane to Mango.

      Gideon - 2012-02-27 19:22

      Mango, being part of SAA, might just take it to cover their costs anyway. Strange way the world goes round...

  • ben.nel2 - 2012-02-27 19:22

    Maybe the passengers didn't know which finger to lift to go to Jo'burg

  • Viman Singh - 2012-02-27 19:23

    There is no way a new airline company is the country can now become a success story. Velvet sky should take their losses and close down. Sell the plane to Mango.

  • cameronjohnprice - 2012-02-27 19:24

    How do I apply for a refund? I have contacted them and been online and they clearly state that there are no refunds...

      John - 2012-02-27 20:43

      You haven't done the booking true some travel agency? I've been in situation like that before and this travel agent/agency was making any kind of excuses not to refund me back. I've lost my money in the end. Im not suprised if Velvet Sky Sales Desk again is playing games. Velvet Sky sees 'POSITIVE', but delivering positive is another story.

      cameronjohnprice - 2012-02-27 21:57

      @john - I did the booking online through their website.

      John - 2012-02-28 00:55

      @Cameron I've check their website. "Strictly no refunds" says there. But, In Consumer Protection Act Customers can claim against damages relating to death, injury, illness, loss or damage to property, or even economic loss as a result of any of these. If provider fails to deliver service, which you already paid for and you have a proof of payment in your hands......provider needs your writen acceptance of the new conditions of the service. You may refuse booking to another flight and fully demand refund.

      Leon - 2012-02-28 02:55

      If you paid by credit card just have the transaction reversed.

      Hugh - 2012-02-28 08:34

      If you have paid by credit card just cancel the transaction.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-27 19:25

    It will be interesting to see, over the past year, if the flow of funds to the bank accounts of directors and senior management has been interrupted in any way. This is merely a management stuff-up. Might as well have been a government outfit.

  • Kaizer - 2012-02-27 19:34

    Should have put on some spoilers , free flow exhaust system , would have gone faster n save on fuel ;) Not forgetting the neon under glow lights and wheel spinners for bling

  • bernpm - 2012-02-27 20:05

    Read: Enjoy reading

  • Michael - 2012-02-27 21:08

    Well thats it velvet sky won't last who is going to book with them in the future ? call it quits now

  • johan.troskie - 2012-02-27 21:14

    They are rude, feel nothing for the very people they were supposed to serve, unprofessional, negligent, disgusting, worst business people ever, they deserve everything they get.

  • lynne.botha - 2012-02-28 08:01

    I am very dissapointed that Velvet is having problems. I flew with them up to JHB a month ago and I was very pleased with the flying and the friendly staff. We had no delays unlike what i always experience with Kulula and 1 Time. I hope that they mange to sort the issues out as i would love to use them again in the future.

  • Shaun - 2012-02-28 08:15

    Bye Bye Velvet Sky - cant see your planes returning to the skies I am afraid to say

  • Tim - 2012-02-28 10:00

    Nope, sorry bud, your long term outlook is not going to be positive because we are not going to be using your services after this episode. We will not and should not support enterprises that do not deliver on their services.

  • Herbert - 2012-02-28 10:55

    For Velvet, the Sky is really the limit (or off limits).

  • martin.etsebeth - 2012-02-28 12:25

    Dit is van te kots.... ek is so gatvol vir skelms en skelm besighede wat ons geld steel en dan nog kan om draai en se ons het geen keuse as om te wag vir hulle om ons geld terug te gee nie... Dit wys net weer hoekom black empowerment n klomp stront is. Ek hoop Bin Laden se famielie vlieg ook Velvet Sky.

  • Samantha - 2012-02-29 07:33

    Try to call the refunds department and they drop the call on u. Try to call bookings, and u get through within seconds. Still taking bookings? Who would still want to book with them?

  • Pamela - 2012-02-29 11:57

    As people we are so quick to judge and discredit people without looking at the facts,I may lose R 6000.00 for the reservation I made, if Velvet sky is liquidated but still I held my heard up high and wont blame anyone. And comparing Velvet sky to SAA, Mango etc ur being unfair as SAA is getting money from our tax contribution as a matter of fact it should be the cheapest flight to S Africans.BP SA holdings has been influences by British airways,1 time bosses who also bought shares from velvet acting as if their wanted to grow the business where's they wnted to destroy it.hoping that velvet sky managers hv learned, velvet sky is a threat to other low cost airline which is why their doing this to it, you will be surprised how much other airlines are owing their suppliers,29 million owed to BP is equivalent to their monthly supply so they hv been paying their debts its jst an outstanding for saying is a BEE company and ANC that is very naive ,how many whites are in the board of directors for velvet sky

      Samantha - 2012-03-01 08:29

      Pamela, it is good for you that u are prepared to forego your R6000. I'm not

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