Tuesday, September 3, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Comair's bid to block FlySafair's launch rejected by the ASLC.

South Africa's latest LCC venture, FlySafair, has been tentatively cleared for operations after the South African Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC) reportedly rejected a complaint lodged by Comair Group Ltd claiming FlySafair's parent, Safair (FA), did not meet South Africa's strict 25% foreign-ownership cap.

The Travel Industry Review quotes the ASLC's Deputy Director for Licencing & Permits, Andries Ntjane, as stating that the council sat and adjudicated Comair's claims but rejected them on the grounds that Safair did in fact satisfy all requisite criteria.

Despite previous threats to obtain an injunction should its petition to the ASLC fail, Comair Group boss Erik Venter said "there were no immediate plans to pursue legal action to see the ASLC’s ruling reviewed but feared the move could set a precedent for other foreign-owned airlines looking to enter the market."

For his part, Safair's CEO, Dave Andrew, said he was relieved the matter "appeared" to have been resolved but added that only once various outstanding modalities are in place (website, call centre etc), then a launch date for its planned 10x daily Cape Town - Johannesburg flights would be announced.