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View Poll Results: Do we need another airline?
Yes, more competition is always needed 35 79.55%
Yes, but more on the smaller routes or regional - the golden triangle is saturated 7 15.91%
No, it will lead to one airline collapsing or will not succeed 1 2.27%
I do not see it even starting 1 2.27%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 23rd, 2012, 11:51 AM   #381
Caisson Boy
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Well, SAAT is hardly "a" service provider.... this is major.
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 04:25 PM   #382
Lydon
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All Velvet Sky flights cancelled
2012-02-23 16:14

Johannesburg - A business dispute caused all Velvet Sky flights on Thursday to be cancelled, the low-cost airline said.

"We had to cancel all our flights today," Velvet Sky spokesperson Gary Webb said.

"We are in a dispute with a service provider. We are in the process of changing service providers so we started that process today [Thursday], but it was not concluded in time to operate."

The broad-based black economic empowerment company is based in Durban and flies between that city, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Earlier on Thursday, the airline apologised and said flights were only delayed not cancelled.

Velvet Sky said the delays, which started on Wednesday, were caused by circumstances beyond its control.

"Velvet Sky management however continues to work very hard in ensuring that there is minimal disruption in our operation."

Airports Company SA (Acsa) confirmed the delays.

Acsa spokesperson Solomon Makgale said Wednesday's delays were primarily out of Cape Town. The delays on Thursday were from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Webb said passengers would be reimbursed on merit. Some people would receive refunds and others flights to their destination on other airlines.

"We are going to have a bit of a backlog because of today, but we should be okay."

He advised customers to check their flights on the Velvet Sky website or phone the call centre. The airline would also contact passengers via SMS.

"We are doing our best to keep all our passengers accommodated," Webb said.

Source: News24
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Old February 23rd, 2012, 05:20 PM   #383
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...And now also on www.iafrica.com

A business dispute caused all Velvet Sky flights on Thursday to be cancelled, the low-cost airline said.

"We had to cancel all our flights today," Velvet Sky spokesman Gary Webb said.

"We are in a dispute with a service provider. We are in the process of changing service providers so we started that process today [Thursday], but it was not concluded in time to operate."

The broad-based black economic empowerment company is based in Durban and flies between that city, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Earlier on Thursday, the airline apologised and said flights were only delayed not cancelled.

Velvet Sky said the delays, which started on Wednesday, were caused by circumstances beyond its control.

"Velvet Sky management however continues to work very hard in ensuring that there is minimal disruption in our operation."

Airports Company SA (Acsa) confirmed the delays.

Acsa spokesman Solomon Makgale said Wednesday's delays were primarily out of Cape Town. The delays on Thursday were from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Webb said passengers would be reimbursed on merit. Some people would receive refunds and others flights to their destination on other airlines.

"We are going to have a bit of a backlog because of today, but we should be okay."

He advised customers to check their flights on the Velvet Sky website or phone the call centre. The airline would also contact passengers via SMS.

"We are doing our best to keep all our passengers accommodated," Webb said.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #384
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BP wants Velvet Sky dead!

www.iafrica.com

Low-cost airline Velvet Sky, which allegedly owes BP Southern more than R29 million, was given until March 5 to respond to BP's application to provisionally liquidate the airline on Friday.

In the Pietermaritzburg High Court, BP's counsel Gerrie Roberts SC, said Velvet Sky had breached its undertaking to pay arrears by February 17 and had not kept up to date with current payments for aviation fuel.

"Velvet Sky has often delayed paying what was due to BP," he said.

He said the low-cost airline had known two days ago that BP would launch a provisional liquidation application on Friday, but had not responded.

Farouk Moosa SC, for Velvet Sky, said negotiations were taking place and denied allegations that the pilots had not been paid.

"Payments to staff are up to date," Moosa said.

Judge Johann Ploos van Amstel said that while liquidation applications were usually urgent, he did not envisage problems should Velvet Sky be given until March 5 to respond, and adjourned the matter to March 7.

BP's attorney Thulani Mciwa said in court papers that in view of Velvet Sky's obvious credit difficulties it would not be able to obtain aviation fuel from any major fuel companies in South Africa.

He had heard that Velvet Sky was living from-hand-to-mouth by using credit cards to buy small amounts of fuel from other sources.

However, it was not possible to operate its fleet continuously without the proper fuel supply.

Mciwa said the court should ensure that no creditors were unfairly preferred and that Velvet Sky's assets should be preserved as soon as possible.

The airline drew attention earlier this week when it experienced flight delays on Wednesday and all flights were cancelled on Thursday.

Velvet Sky spokesman Gary Webb said there was in a dispute with a service provider, as the airline was in the process of changing service providers, and that this was not concluded in time to operate.

After delays on Friday morning, flights were scheduled to start around 1pm.

The broad-based black economic empowerment company is based in Durban and flies between that city, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #385
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Velvet Sky threatens passenger

www.iafrica.com

As Velvet Sky deals with a public relations nightmare over the cancellation of its flights, a passenger has spoken out about safety concerns on the low cost airline.

He said he approached the media because he had received no feedback from the company.

The Cape Town-based doctor was onboard a flight to Johannesburg in January, when he realised that his row of seats was not attached to the floor of the plane.

Dr. Julian te Riele said the seats lifted up as he picked up his two-year-old daughter, causing him to tilt the little girl into the aisle.

He said for the sake of his safety, he chose to book a flight back home with a different airline.

The man claimed that when he complained, a steward was both dismissive and aggressive.

He said the steward went as far as asking: "Do you want to be arrested in front of your daughter?"

The airline confirmed that the passenger laid a complaint and said it was being dealt with.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 04:55 PM   #386
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Sad that it has come to this.

The safety concerns are purely media hype fuelled by the smell of blood, all of Velvet Sky's aircraft are maintained by SAA who have a world class facility.

Incidentally it was the decision by Air BP to stop supplying fuel to Nationwide that caused them to stop operating.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 07:15 PM   #387
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Saw a VS 737 downwind to KSIA at about 17:30..... Hope they're resolving these problems!
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Old February 27th, 2012, 12:50 PM   #388
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Well, I guess we might have seen the end of Velvet Sky now. According to their booking engine, all flights have been cancelled untill 7 March. Don't think they'll be able to recover from all this, unless finding a huge financial investment soon!
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Old February 27th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #389
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grjplanes View Post
Well, I guess we might have seen the end of Velvet Sky now. According to their booking engine, all flights have been cancelled untill 7 March. Don't think they'll be able to recover from all this, unless finding a huge financial investment soon!
7 March is the date of the liquidation hearing isn't it? Difficult to see them surviving for two weeks with no income when they are already +- R40 million in debt. Pity.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 01:48 PM   #390
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From their Facebook Page:

Velvet Sky
As a result of recent events, the negative impact on business, and adverse publicity, Excalibur Aerospace wishes to announce a suspension of all its Velvet Sky flights, from Monday February 27th until Monday March 5th 2012.

The suspension will allow the company time to reconstitute its board, and balance sheet, and realign its short-term strategy. It will also allow the company time to properly resolve the disputes with certain suppliers.

Customers holding reservations for these dates may choose to change their bookings to a later date, or apply for a refund.

The Chairman and Board is confident that the long-term outlook for Velvet Sky is positive, and that developments currently under discussion will significantly improve the company’s position.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 02:03 PM   #391
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flights were back on track yesterday, hopefully during that period they can sort themselves out.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 02:05 PM   #392
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My sister has a flight to Cape Town for Two Oceans Marathon... what's the consensus? Should she just ditch her April ticket on VZ and buy from another airline or wait until mid-March?
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Old February 27th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetDownAdam View Post
My sister has a flight to Cape Town for Two Oceans Marathon... what's the consensus? Should she just ditch her April ticket on VZ and buy from another airline or wait until mid-March?
I would apply for a refund but buy another ticket on another airline.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #394
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Hands up all of those who are surprised...
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Old February 27th, 2012, 03:20 PM   #395
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I'm astounded how these people can still talk about a positive outlook for the future... It reminds me of those Iraqi generals who denied that the US army was advancing on Baghdad back in the day...
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Old February 27th, 2012, 08:19 PM   #396
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so these guys are in for 29 bar for fuel

thats 1300 flights to Durbz from JHB and 195,000 passengers backlog to get even

737 burns say 2200 ltrs hr ..10 bucks a liter
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Old February 28th, 2012, 09:35 AM   #397
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"The rise and fall of an airline in 20 SSC pages" - quite remarkable really.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #398
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Eish trust a Durban based airline to go bang...

Joking

Quite a pity. Only heard good about the airline. Was tempted to try it out.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #399
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What do you guys think is the contributing factor of an over-emphasis on the Golden Triangle in airlines going bust? Does anyone have any insight into why new low-cost carriers aren't buying/leasing smaller aircraft to use on less-populated routes?

I said in the beginning that I thought being DUR-CPT-JNB-centric was not a good thing. I thought from day one, that Durban-East London; Durban-Windhoek; Pietermaritzburg-Johannesburg; Cape Town-George-Durban; Cape Town-Kimberley-Johannesburg; Johannesburg-Mthata; Cape Town-Kruger/Mpumalanga; Cape Town-Gaborone-Maun-Johannesburg; Durban-Gaborone may be more lucrative.

What are those in the know's thoughts?
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Old February 29th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annman View Post
What do you guys think is the contributing factor of an over-emphasis on the Golden Triangle in airlines going bust? Does anyone have any insight into why new low-cost carriers aren't buying/leasing smaller aircraft to use on less-populated routes?

I said in the beginning that I thought being DUR-CPT-JNB-centric was not a good thing. I thought from day one, that Durban-East London; Durban-Windhoek; Pietermaritzburg-Johannesburg; Cape Town-George-Durban; Cape Town-Kimberley-Johannesburg; Johannesburg-Mthata; Cape Town-Kruger/Mpumalanga; Cape Town-Gaborone-Maun-Johannesburg; Durban-Gaborone may be more lucrative.

What are those in the know's thoughts?
It is strange that these secondary routes remain relatively poorly served. From the different stories I have heard/read from SA Express and Airlink people (biased I am sure) they maintain there is simply not enough of a market to support another airline on some of the smaller routes. That being said a relatively new 70 seater doing Johannesburg-Pietermartizburg (say) would surely survive.

The international routes remain locked by the various govts. Some have a one-for-one policy (eg for every South African airline flying into Angola there must be an Angolan flying into SA) but name African countries with more than one regional airline...

The golden triangle is overrun with competition. Small margins make it difficult for anyone so new LCC's face an enormous task to survive.
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