lowcost Velvet Sky, starting route to Polokwane Airport, which was revamped at a cost of R30 million for the World Cup but so far is used only by Airlink with small aiircraft carrying 30 passengers.PHOTO SUPPLIED

Durban-based low-cost airline Velvet Sky Aviation on Friday encountered delays on its flights departing from the city.

 Passengers booked on the airline’s first flight out of the city to Johannesburg at 6am were told their flight would only depart at 9am.

 According to The Mercury newspaper, the delays have come over a dispute with BP Southern Africa, over an unpaid fuel bill.

 In its report, The Mercury reveals that Velvet Sky’s troubles began in January, when BP had to suspend fuel supplies to the company. 

Velvet Sky’s Chief Operations Officer Gary Webb told the newspaper he did not have “first-hand information” on alleged liquidation applications brought forward by BP over the issue of non-payment.

Meanwhile, following heavy delays in their flight schedule on Wednesday and Thursday’s cancellation of flights in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, Webb said it appeared likely Velvet Sky’s flights would resume on Friday.

 “The delays were mainly as a result of commercial issues that have arisen between Velvet Sky Aviation and a service provider (SAA Technical). We are in dispute with them, but we are… changing service providers… We started that process on Thursday, but it was not concluded in time to operate,” the newspaper quoted Webb as saying.

 It’s believed that some passengers would be accommodated on flights by other airlines on merit, while others would receive refunds or be placed for a later departure with the airline. - IOL

 E-mail Benita: [email protected]


* Customers can call Velvet Sky’s call centre on 0861 835 838 for updates.