Posted on: 17 April 2014 by Mark Howells
The Air Services Council in South Africa has granted FlySafair an air service licence for the operation of domestic scheduled flights to add to the international and domestic unscheduled licence that it has held for almost 50 years.
The airline was initially blocked from starting operations of the type enabled by the new licence after two competitors brought an urgent application to prevent the new low-fare airline from starting its operations because they claimed Safair did not meet the 75% domestic ownership requirements.
Since then FlySafair has restructured its shareholding, divesting the shareholding which caused the problems and at the same time concluding what it calls “the largest employee share ownership scheme in the aviation industry”, effectively giving its South African employees a 25.14% stake in the company.
Despite FlySafair not having been operational since October 2013, the airline retained the services of all the employees who were hired 10 months ago, by utilising them in Safair’s traditional business of providing backup services to local airlines and also in international charter operations.
“This demonstrates our commitment not only to job creation, but also sends a clear message that FlySafair is here for the long run,” declared Dave Andrew, CEO of Safair. “We are eager to provide South Africans with an alternate low-cost airline that is dedicated to offering competitive and sustainable fares between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The FlySafair team looks forward to our passengers putting our promise of affordability and exceptional service to the test.
“Having now received our new schedule passenger licence, we are currently evaluating our options for the re-launch of FlySafair. Dates for the launch flight and ticket sales will be announced in due course,” Andrew added.