PREDICTIONS COME THROUGH AS THE ‘NEW‘ FLYAFRICA TOO REMAINS ON THE GROUND
(Posted 19th September 2017)
I take no pleasure in saying that I was again right when raising questions and queries from the first moment when news emerged from Harare that FlyAfrica was to undergo a revival.
Three article links shown below elaborate on the concerns expressed at the time in January, May and July this year.
Offices were rented, some staff at least had to be employed, no doubt some serious money had to be invested in procuring at least one Boeing B737 aircraft and having it painted in the airline’s livery but in the absence of all required permits in place and with legal cases raising their ugly faces on the horizon, was that aircraft returned to the lessors, reportedly the Africa Charter Company based in Lanseria. Losses from such transactions often run into the hundreds of thousands of US Dollars, given that such aircraft have to undergo airworthiness checks and at times major maintenance – apart from the cost of painting – plus the ferry flights to and from Harare.
It now appears that former 49 percent minority owners (FlyAfrica Limited of Mauritius) of the old FlyAfrica have again locked horns with FlyAfrica Zimbabwe’s then 51 percent majority shareholder, over who owns what shares and has what remaining rights over the company name.
This of course must have scuttled any plans of the ‘new’ FlyAfrica – they were clearly told in advance what risks the use of that name will carry – not the least over pending refund claims from passengers duped at the end of 2015 to pay for tickets when it was patently clear that in the absence of an AOC no flights could take place.
While the main court case now reportedly underway therefore may well be between Mssrs. Karase and FlyAfrica Limited Mauritius will the new owners sooner or later be dragged into the legal battle, either suing themselves to get their money back or else being enjoined into a case to stop their continued use of the name.
The entire sordid saga is of course not good for Zimbabwe’s aviation industry as other upstarts too are said to be either struggling of fading away and only Fastjet can be laughing over the woes of their competitors as they have introduced new smaller and more suitable aircraft for their Zimbabwean franchise.
Fastjet is now flying as often as four times a day between Harare and Johannesburg and has added flights on their Harare – Victoria Falls route as well as on the Victoria Falls to Johannesburg route.
As always, watch this space for further updates as and when additional information comes to light.
See links to previous articles show below for ease of reference: