Skywise takes ACSA to court and Competition Commission

By Jessica Anne Wood

In a statement released by Skywise on Tuesday, it revealed that it has taken Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to court, as well as registering a case with the Competition Commission.
 
On 3 December 2015 it was announced that all Skywise flights were to be grounded until further notice due to monies owed to ACSA. Skywise has not conducted any flights since this announcement.
 
According to Skywise, the move by ACSA to ground all Skywise flights was “an abuse of dominance and a prohibited act.”
 
Tabassum Qadir, Skywise Co-Chair, noted: “It is prohibited for a dominant firm to refuse to give access to an essential facility when it is economically feasible to do so.”
 
However, in a statement released by ACSA on 8 December 2015, it stated that it was not the only company that was owed money by Skywise.
 
“Airports Company South Africa wishes to state that it is not the only supplier that is owed money by Skywise amongst multiple stakeholders in the airline’s operational value chain. It is regrettable that Airports Company South Africa’s position on unpaid service fees is being viewed in isolation, despite many stakeholders being instrumental in ensuring an airline’s continued operation,” highlighted ACSA.
 
The Competition Commission
Skywise has appealed to the Competition Commission Tribunal to investigate the case and order that the grounding of its flights (which it stated is a prohibited practice) be suspended.
 
Skywise Co-Chair, J. Malik questions why ACSA would suspend Skywise during December 2015 “for an arrear instalment of R1.6 million, while they had R1.9 million in deposit and Skywise was on a fly-as-you -pay arrangement.”
 
December is a busy time with holiday-makers travelling to different areas of South Africa. Skywise had projected revenue of more than R50 million for the period, however, were unable to attain it due to the grounding of its flights.
 
 
For more information on the grounding of Skywise’s flights, click here.

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