Day 2 of Skywise grounding | Fin24
 
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Day 2 of Skywise grounding

2015-12-02 09:56

South Africans have slammed the open letter that Skywise wrote to President Jacob Zuma to ask him to intervene, after Acsa grounded them for not paying airport fees.

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Last Updated at 14:32
03 Dec 15:11

03 Dec 15:11

03 Dec 14:17

Reaction to Skywise's letter to President Jacob Zuma to help save the airline was met with criticism on its Facebook post.

Dee Da Silva Nope wrote: Sorry no bail out. Instead of using SAA as a case study for more bail outs we should question why SAA and others continually receive bail out money and put an end to it. If this company receives a bail out then why not others? You have failed as many others have. Now go back to the drawing board and find a PRO PER solution and if your plan is solid, you will find funding.


03 Dec 14:13
Siya Siphiwo Mpahlwa wrote on the Skywise Facebook wall: "Skywise is not a state owned enterprise so government won't intervene in providing funds to rescue the airline from the deficit they facing. Government doesn't even offer internships or bursaries to candidates who would like to become pilots. Skywise should go to the dti and get an SMME development loan."

03 Dec 13:30
Exclusive interview with Skywise co-chair Javed 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."

03 Dec 13:09
Down but not out. That’s the message from embattled low-cost carrier Skywise, which promised disgruntled passengers that they will be back to offer a much better flying service.

03 Dec 13:03
The question to ask in the South African airline industry is why 11 airlines have failed to make it, Skywise co-chair Tabassum Qadir told Fin24.

03 Dec 12:52

eNCA filed this report on Thursday:


03 Dec 12:46

How Skywise reacted on Wednesday

They sent an open Letter to President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, appealing for intervention.


03 Dec 12:42

DAY 2: SKYWISE APOLOGISES AND APPEALS TO AFFECTED PASSENGERS

Press statement on Thursday by Skywise:

Skywise has apologised and appealed to affected passengers as it is currently experiencing an influx for refunds and wishes to make the process easy for them.

All passengers that are booked to travel between the 3rd and the 10th of December are being addressed through the call centre. The contact details to use are refunds@skywise.co.za and 0861 911 435.

For those traveling after the 10th, we kindly request for their patience as we work hard with the responsible authorities to bring our aircrafts back in the skies. We will shortly announce an update on the outcome of the process that is currently in progress.

“We apologise and appeal to all affected passengers during this difficult time. We have highly inconvenienced our customers but promise them that we will be back to offer a much better flying service”, says Tabassum Qadir, co-chairperson.

Skywise management have prioritised the importance of getting back trust and confidence from customers and the travel trade industry in anticipation to be allowed to operate again shortly.

At the same time, we appeal for all affected passengers to be patient. But we are working hard to ensure all the above processes are completed as soon as possible. Skywise is grateful to South Africans for their warm and priceless support during this difficult time.  

We look forward to their continued support once we bounce back and promise to offer them the affordable air fares and customer service they had known.


03 Dec 12:38
From Traveller24: Following the suspension of Skywise Airlines by Acsa due to unpaid services, many travellers who have booked with the airline remain uncertain about what to do about their festive season holiday plans.

03 Dec 12:37
"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.

03 Dec 12:37
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.

02 Dec 16:00
We enter into arrangements with airlines and it is up to the airline to keep to it, says group executive for corporate affairs at ACSA, speaking on Radio 702. 

02 Dec 15:59
ACSA on 702: We have an obligation as a commercial entity to deliver.

02 Dec 15:38
Fin24 user Thulane Kubheka says: “I'm a devastated customer right now, who has booked with Skywise. During the busiest time of the year, this is disturbing our plans. What are we going to do now that all the airlines are fully booked for the dates we requested? Both parties should be able to resolve this and I urge the government to intervene.”  

02 Dec 15:33
Fin24 user Laura Stanford says: “It’s an ironic time we live in that this is happening within a week of SAA reporting a massive loss over the past financial year, which is duly absorbed by the South African tax payer. Another shot in the heart of the entrepreneur trying to create jobs and change in our great country.”

02 Dec 15:24
Skywise customers seeking refunds due to the grounding of their planes should be able to do so, according to their terms and conditions.

02 Dec 15:20

02 Dec 15:15
The industry situation is very tough at the moment and, although there is growth, it is at low yields, Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (Aasa), told Fin24.

02 Dec 15:14

02 Dec 15:11

All airlines are aware of Acsa terms

June Crawford, CEO of the Board of Airline Representatives South Africa, commented on the Skywise situation:

"All airlines before starting new operations are aware of the terms and conditions of payment for services provided by Acsa and ATNS. In fact, all airlines agree to these conditions. I do not believe exceptions can be made."


02 Dec 15:09
Fin24 user Hilary du Plessis said if people have paid with their credit cards, they should be able to do a “callback”. “This has happened to me before and I got refunded in full.”

02 Dec 15:07
Skywise told its customers: Unfortunately, due to this dispute all our flights as of immediate effect have been cancelled until further notice.

02 Dec 15:05
Skywise told its customers: Today is indeed a sad day for Skywise. We have been informed by our management that Skywise Airlines have been grounded by Acsa and ATNS.

02 Dec 14:56

Skywise needs better communication, government should incentivise Skywise

Brand reputation management adviser Solly Moeng:

"First of all, Skywise should have seen this coming and put a plan in place to notify its passengers immediately after it got grounded, outlining a Plan B for passengers with booked tickets and immediate travel plans.   

"This could either be refunds or arrangements with another airline.   

"In this case, passengers are unfairly caught in-between Skywise and Acsa; this shouldn't have to be their problem and they shouldn't be used as bargaining baits for Skywise.   

"On the other hand,  there is something to be said about government using taxpayer funds to constantly bail out SAA, which is perennially managed, while failing to incentivise private enterprise in the same sector."


02 Dec 14:32

Africa's largest online booking agent Travelstart says it is waiting to confirm the way forward with Skywise.

"We are waiting for Skywise to confirm a way forward - at this stage all we know is that the airline is once again battling cash flow issues," said TravelStart spokesperson Russel Jarvis.

"Should the airline cease operations we as Travelstart will honour our customers and activate a contingency plan similar to that of 2012 when 1Time Airlines liquidated."


02 Dec 14:22

Twitter user Werner Keet has called on investors with a Christmas spirit to save Skywise and let its passengers go on holiday. Any takers? Tell us now.


02 Dec 14:05

02 Dec 14:04

Use a travel agent to avoid being disappointed - Fin24 user

Fin24 user Willem Schutte works for a prominent travel agent and says they constantly warn people not to book low cost airlines like SkyWise and FlyAfrica. 

“These airlines have been having a lot of issues lately and should people have consulted their travel agent they would have known about it and would have been warned,” he said. “However, people go online and book their flights and now cannot get help.

“This is why we as travel agents exist,” he said. “To assist and advise. We are experts in this field.

“I feel for the people that have booked on Skywise, but I urge everyone affected to use their travel agents next time they travel, so that we can assist them when things go wrong.

“Peace of mind may cost more, but it is worth every cent.”


02 Dec 13:58

Acsa has nothing more to say

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) told Fin24 on Wednesday afternoon that at this stage it does not have anything more to add regarding Skywise, apart from what is stated in the media statement issued by ACSA on Wednesday morning.  

In its statement ACSA confirmed that Skywise has been suspended from operating at ACSA airports with effect from December 2, due to unpaid airport charges for landing, take off, parking of aircrafts 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.


02 Dec 13:57
Fin24 user Clive Pretorius, who is the SA Express specialist for schedule and planning, has questioned Skywise’s rationale behind its claim that the festive season will bring in much-needed income to pay its debt. “Tickets are paid for upfront, so the planned bumper holiday season has already been paid. Where is this revenue and why not settle the bill.”

02 Dec 13:54

02 Dec 13:54

02 Dec 13:52

Comments from Fin24 users:

Burton Masher: We have our flights booked with Skywise for 25th of December 2015 and return 1 January 2016. Should we book new flights? Skywise is not answering our calls and we do not know what to do. Accommodation and car rental has already been paid.

Ryan Ferreira:  Skywise Disaster – Booked last night at 23h00 for flights on the 19th December 2015; now have had to booked on another airline. Had to spend an additional R4 000 to get flights with another airline. Who knows if we will be refunded!

Eugene Swart: Ticket with Skywise has been booked to return from Johannesburg on the 20th of December for my mother, now I don’t know if I should cancel this booking and with that money and buy another ticket? Ticket prices are increasing by the hour and I know less about Skywise now than I did this morning. A little bit frustrating to say the least.


02 Dec 13:34
Fin24 user Diana Fourie said: We have our flights booked with Skywise for 24 December 2015 and return 4 January 2016. We have no idea what to do or expect? Will we be fully refunded? If so, when will that happen?  What must we do? Our plans have been set in place, with regards to accommodation etc. We cannot afford buying new tickets from another airline now, or changing any of our holiday plans.

02 Dec 13:31

Comments from Fin24 users:

Hazel Fouche: We had tickets booked to fly to Cape Town tomorrow and have had to get last minute bookings with another airline. Luckily there were some tickets still available!

Peter Doble: Acsa is a government body which is strangling the economy. Unless low cost air travel is allowed to thrive, both the commercial and tourist economy will suffer.

Dawn de Villiers: We booked four tickets for March next year for a wedding, got two bridesmaids and mother of bride on the flight. I can’t get through to Skywise whose phones are off.  I paid the R25 insurance why are my chances of getting a refund?

Send your comments now.


02 Dec 13:26

02 Dec 13:24
702's Stephen Grootes asked Tabassum Qadir if her airline will ever fly again. She responded with emotion "it will, it will", before going silent.

02 Dec 13:23
Tabassum Qadir told 702: There was a payment due on the 1st of December and we asked them to give us 48 hours to address this issue. There was a possible transaction, which could have brought a capital injection into the company. That transaction was supposed to happen on 7 December. All we just asked was for them to give us time.

02 Dec 13:21
Tabassum Qadir told 702: Our aircraft and their crew are standing at their airport to fly these passengers. For what? We told them (Acsa) that we will not accumulate the debt." 

02 Dec 13:20
Tabassum Qadir told 702: December is the peak time, when airlines recover their losses and I am amazed that in December time, that I have been closed. 

02 Dec 13:19
Tabassum Qadir told 702 she doesn't believe Mango and SAA are pricing Skywise out of the market. "There's something more to it. It's not about pricing, it's not about competition anymore."

02 Dec 13:15
Tabassum Qadir told 702: I don't need anything from President Jacob Zuma (in response to her open letter to the president). All I need from them is to accommodate my passengers. If Acsa has shut me down, where are all my passengers going to go? I am ready with my aircraft and my crew to fly them, but if Acsa has shut me down, I have to accommodate my passengers. It's not about money, there's no capacity in the airlines and there's no charter flights available in peak season.

02 Dec 13:12
Tabassum Qadir told 702: Skywise is not able to pay its R4m to Acsa and R4m to the Air Traffic Navigations Services, but we had an arrangement, where we were supposed to pay arrears in six months. To avoid accumulating the debt, we were on pay-as-you-fly.

02 Dec 13:09
Tabassum Qadir told 702: The damage to our reputation after the October grounding meant we have been in a cash flow crisis, but we had our plans.

02 Dec 13:08
Tabassum Qadir told 702: Yes, we had some issues of cash flow problems since October, when we were grounded for the first time.

02 Dec 13:00

702's Stephen Grootes spoke to Skywise co-chair Tabassum Qadir about the grounding of the airline today:


02 Dec 12:58

02 Dec 12:57

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