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Skywise has had to delay its initial launch date but this has not deterred the new low cost carrier’s preparations.
The airline did not receive its Air Service Licence last month as hoped, due to a request by the Department of Transport for additional information. Spokesperson for the Department, Tiyani Rikhotso, says: “The council meeting of January 16, 2013 considered the application of Cobolar/Skywise. The council has not yet made a decision on the application owing to the additional information required from the applicant to make a decision.”
The DoT has confirmed to Tourism Update that once Skywise submits the additional documents, the Council will make a decision, and that it would not have to wait until the next ASLC meeting later this month.
Meanwhile, Skywise has had to delay its launch date, originally set for March 1. The airline cannot proceed with the process of applying for its Aircraft Operating Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority until it has been issued with the Air Service Licence.
“The beginning of March was our target date with the assumption of being issued an ASL at the beginning of the year. As soon as the ASL is hanging on our wall we will set another target launch date,” says Skywise co-founder, Rodney James.
However, Skywise has already recruited management staff, secured flight operations office space in Cape Town and finalised its branding and website, which will be revealed on the date of the launch. Janes says the rest of the team will be recruited once a launch date is confirmed and that Skywise will have offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Skywise intends to launch with car and accommodation deals and, according to James, will be a low-fare leader using a typical low-cost airline model. He says: “The majority of sales [will be] through the website but travel agents would be a very important sales channel, booking directly on the website using a corporate login and through a GDS.”