Skywise blames suppliers for flight grounding

Johannesburg - Low cost airline Skywise has bemoaned what it regards as unfair treatment by two of its suppliers - Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) and Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) after some of its flights were cancelled for non-payment.

The flights involved were S8 101 from Johannesburg to Cape Town and S8 102 from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) told Fin24 it has no comment at this stage.

The airline, which launched on February 11 this year, said the cancelation of the flights has harmed its reputation. It said its pipeline of tickets has been affected.

"Our clients are asking for refunds," said Tabassum Qadir, Skywise's co-chairperson at a media briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

The company feels hard done by.

READ: Skywise flight cancellation latest in SA low-cost air war

"This industry is full of negative people. We are not going anywhere. We put personal money in this company. We did not get government loans. We will put every penny of ours into this business. This industry is full of negative and naysayers," said Qadir.

She said many people doubted if the airline would last longer than eight months. In the eight months the company has carried approximately 250 000 passengers.

"As we speak we have two airplanes of the airline in the air," said Irfan Pardesi, Skywise's co-CEO.
 
Skywise brand ambassador Ndileka Mandela has apologised to the affected customers. She said the airline would stay operational for as long as people booked seats.

Skywise's co-chair Javed Malik said the company's accounts with Acsa and ATNS were up to date. He did, however, admit that during the eight months the company had missed payment deadlines.

ALSO READ: Price war should not be focus - Skywise co-chair

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