Aspiring low-cost airline Skywise recently hit a major setback as the South African Department of Transport failed to renew the airline’s Air Services license, effectively delaying scuppering plans to enter the South African flights market. According to recent media reports, the airline is now exploring its options.
Competing startup FlySafair’s initial license was revoked before it could take to the skies last year, after the airline had run afoul of ownership regulations stating that at least 75% of the airline’s ownership shares had to be locally held. Comair had also lodged objections to the airline entering the SA flights market, adding a further barrier to entry, yet these have subsequently been dismissed.
Andries Ntjane, Deputy Director of Licensing & Permits, confirmed that the ASLC had approved FlySafair’s latest application in late March 2014.
The Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC), the body responsible for issuing and renewing Air Services Licenses is cited as saying that Skywise has yet to complete the Civil Aviation Authority’s certification process for Air Operators, and that a further extension of their license would be discretionary, given that they’d made no progress towards launch under their initial licensing agreement.
As such, South African air travellers are no closer to cheap flights than they were 1 year ago.