Comair-SAA High Court battle to go ahead

Johannesburg - Comair Limited is awaiting a court date, following the launch of its High Court legal challenge to the R5-billion government guarantee to South African Airways in February 2013.

According to CEO, Erik Venter, Comair anticipates a court date to be set for July this year and has received responses from some of the parties concerned.

This includes an indication from the Minister of Public Enterprises and the Minister of Finance which will oppose the legal action. Venter says the Minister of Transport has indicated that the department will abide by the court decision, but thus far no feedback has been received by the National Government or SAA.

Comair's case is built on official government policy and legislation which are in place to govern the operation of SAA as a state-owned entity and how it competes with the rest of the domestic aviation industry.

Comair says that the current and previous bailouts, which amount to over R11-billion, do not comply with either the Domestic Aviation Transport Policy or the law (the Constitution, the SAA Act, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act and the Public Finances Management Act).

"Comair's sole objective with this legal action is to attain a level playing field in the domestic aviation market to ensure that all airlines face the same risks and the same requirements to operate on sound commercial principles. By receiving government bailouts SAA avoids this commercial reality and this negatively impacts on all current and potential airline operators," says Venter.

This high court action is separate from previous legal challenges by Comair and other competitors, some of which are still active.

 
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