liquidated: Some customers who bought Velvet Sky plane tickets have been refunded in full thanks to chargeback.
liquidated: Some customers who bought Velvet Sky plane tickets have been refunded in full thanks to chargeback.

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The Advertising Standards Authority has ordered that low-cost South African airline Velvet Sky, having grounded all flights, must remove the “Sky” from its name immediately or face penalties.

"I admit that word was a mistake,” said Chief Operations Officer Dodji McDud. “In hindsight it created unsustainable expectations that our aeroplanes might leave land.”

As airline Velvet Sky faced a PR nightmare after cancelling its flights, the carrier agreed to excise all references to skies, flight and mobile transportation from its marketing after being ordered to do so by the advertising czar.

Stranded passengers also suggested that the airline’s decision to advertise using the line “For the shortest long distance relationship, fly Velvet Sky” was probably an error too.

“Although, thinking about it, it is factually accurate,” said Sipho Goslo, 32. “My last long-distance relationship lasted barely a month, collapsing under the strain of both of us routinely arriving in the other’s city nine or ten hours late, if at all.”

Representatives for the airline confirmed that the grounding was due to the fact that BP shut off fuel supplies to the carrier after being owed R29 million.

“We’d like to appeal for support in this regard,” said McDud yesterday. “If members of the public have left-over cooking oil, paraffin, anything that might conceivably power a two-stroke engine, we’ve set up collection calabashes in all major cities.” 

McDud said that the airline had been disappointed to discover that its back-up mechanism, fuelling planes with “dreams and starlight”, had failed to produce the required results.

The carrier announced yesterday as an appeasement measure that passengers who had been scheduled to fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg at noon on Wednesday this week could apply to get a lift with the airline’s Chief Financial Officer, who would be driving up to face a tribunal.

“He’s got a nice roomy ’94 Toyota Camry,” said McDud. “There’s space for at least four in the back if one of you has a late-stage eating disorder.”

The airline’s top brass is reportedly undertaking a “full inquiry” into the reasons for Velvet Sky’s failures.

“We’re only in the preliminary stages, but we keep coming back to the idea that maybe we shouldn’t have named it after the CEO’s favourite stripper at Teazers,” said McDud. “Lovely girl, great set of melons, but I don’t see a pair of wings on her, if you know what I mean.” -