Antoinette Slabbert
1 minute read
14 Oct 2015
8:00 am

Skywise struggling to lift off

Antoinette Slabbert

Local airline Skywise is struggling to return to the skies after air traffic authorities grounded it at the weekend for nonpayment of air traffic services.

Skywise Airlines | Pictures: Supplied

Skywise told Business on Monday the matter had been resolved and the problem arose “due to an internal oversight and administrative glitch”.

But Air Traffic and Navigation Services spokesperson Percy Morokane said negotiations for the payment of the outstanding fees were ongoing. He confirmed the grounding has been lifted. Morokane would not disclose any further details about the amount outstanding, this has raised the question whether Skywise will be the latest local low-cost airline to fail, after the earlier demise of Velvet Sky and 1Time.

Domestic low-cost airlines have been in fierce competition, especially with newcomers Skywise and FlySafair, which offer low ticket prices that have been described as unsustainable.

Skywise announced on its Facebook page on Sunday just two flights were affected and the rest would operate on schedule. But it seems the airline was unable to resolve its problems because on Monday, it indicated two more flights were affected. It did the same yesterday, although airline CEO Javed Malik was adamant everything was back on schedule.

Skywise operates eight flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town every day.