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A hit on Skywise, a hit on SA, says co-chair Javed Malik

Dec 03 2015 11:43
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Now is not the time for competition, but for all the role players in the South African aviation industry to work together, Skywise co-chair Javed Malik told Fin24 on Thursday.

He said he has heard from some travel agencies that prices for domestic flights in SA have already started to increase after Skywise flights were suspended on Wednesday.

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) suspended all the flights of low-cost airline Skywise as from December 2 due to unpaid airport charges for landing, take off, parking of aircraft and related service charges. Acsa said the suspension will be withdrawn as soon as Skywise has made appropriate payments in accordance with the relevant regulations. By late morning on Thursday the situation remained the same.

"This is not about Skywise, but about everyone trying to bring innovation in SA's aviation industry. Don't treat Skywise as an individual company. Any decision relating to Skywise will affect all of SA," Malik told Fin24.

"Our message to all government departments involved as well as other role players in the industry is that this is about saving aviation in SA. People do not have trust in the aviation industry in SA anymore."

He said Skywise is still getting support from consumers, who are not giving up on the airline.

"We must all work together. We are extending our appeal to all airlines in SA. This is the time to show unity. What happens to us at Skywise can happen to any other airline in SA too. It should not be about competition now, but about giving a message that we are all one and show the world that the SA aviation industry can work together," said Malik.

"So this is about a bigger picture. We are creating jobs and did all our funding ourselves. Let us forget our differences. What happened to us can happen to anybody. We are only a few players. Let us work together."

In a statement issued on Thursday Skywise apologised and appealed to affected passengers to be patient as the airline is working hard to process requests for refunds.

skywise  |  aviation  |  industrial  |  airlines
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