Johannesburg - South Africa's aviation watchdog said on Wednesday that it expected to finish evaluating a new operating licence "within a few weeks", paving the way for a start-up airline.
The airline is believed to be Durban-based Velvet Sky, which Business Day reported was planning a domestic service.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) did not disclose the name of the new airline, but said the applicant would offer commercial services between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
The CAA said it was evaluating an application for an air operator certificate, which, together with an air service licence issued by the Air Service Licensing Council, was a prerequisite for any new operator or airline wanting to offer commercial flights.
"As such, an airline or operator can only commence operations when they are in possession of an air service licence and an air operator certificate," it said.
The aviation authority said the evaluation of the application was at an "advanced stage", and could be concluded "within a few weeks".
The CAA may issue the requisite air operator certificate only when all the requirements evaluated during the certification process have been completed satisfactorily.
"One of the last key activities that still need to be undertaken is the emergency evacuation demonstration conducted on their aircraft," the CAA said.
The air operator certificate would be issued only when the CAA had determined that the applicant was fully capable of fulfilling all the specified responsibilities as prescribed by the SA Civil Aviation Regulations and to provide a safe service to the public, the CAA said.