JOHANNESBURG – Tenacious regional transporter SA Airlink said on Tuesday that it would proceed with legal action to force South Africa’s International Air Services Council (IASC) to review its decision to allow SA Express to take to the skies without following proper compliance requirements.
In a statement, SA Airlink said its objective was to ensure the consistent application of the law by the IASC when it considered the fitness and ability of any airline to sustain safe and reliable commercial international air services.
“In this instance, the IASC appears to have made its decision in the absence of any recent set of audited accounts for SA Express and disregarding the Public Enterprises Minister’s (Pravin Gordhan's) who represents the small airline’s major shareholder of the government) advice to Parliament in September that the carrier was not a going concern and was “experiencing financial difficulties”, the airline said.
SA Express and its holding company SAA were grounded for non-compliance in late August.
SA Airlink’s objection is that the IASC’s decision appears to ignore SA Express directors’ and executive management’s September briefing to Parliament on its liquidity crisis and resultant high level of aircraft unserviceability, which led to its inability to provide the regular, on-time domestic air services it advertised and for which it was taking customers’ money.