ABORTED LAUNCH BY #FLYAFRICA CHALLENGES #ZIMBABWE’S AVIATION AUTHORITY
(Posted 20th October 2017)
When an aircraft which supposedly was due to be at the ready for passengers to fly at 13.00 hrs local time from Harare via Victoria Falls to Bulawayo – see a link to the report about this from last night below – carried out a service from Lusaka to Johannesburg, was it all but clear that the highly advertised launch flight today would not take place.
This is a huge blow once again the the name of FlyAfrica, damaging what little reputation has been left for the reloaded airline which sprang the same shenanigans on unsuspecting passengers in late 2015. At that time, when the majority partner after a massive fallout with the Mauritius / South Africa based minority partner decided to surrender the airline’s AOC – short for Air Operators Certificate – did the airline’s unscrupulous management, of course based at a safe distance, continue to sell tickets for flights which they must have known would never materialize, leaving many people to this day demanding their refunds.
Tweets seen already speak of a #PonziScheme after some wannabe passengers, clearly individuals duped into believing FlyAfrica would perform a service today, had parted with money and are again staring at a loss.
If the aircraft will still come – a week ago did one arrive in the nick of time with only 33 minutes to spare before a ZCAA decreed deadline to fly or else hand in their licence – is now only visible to those using crystal balls but broad opinion is that after another false start this airline may simply not make it into the skies as a regular feature and may like FlyAfrica Version 1.0 disappear from the scene.
Of course will those who sold the name rights to an unsuspecting investor from Zimbabwe celebrate their windfall, leaving the locals who put in money into the venture hanging out to dry, but this now is a direct challenge to the Zimbabwean CAA too to bring down the hammer on this outfit in order to protect their own credibility as an aviation oversight body.
Other airlines, including struggling Air Zimbabwe and of course Fastjet Zimbabwe – an airline which flies when they say they do – will be watching closely what next step the regulators will take and so will this correspondent, ready to report some more about this unfolding breaking news story from Zimbabwe.
Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from the wider Eastern African region.