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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:09 am

Another Small Airline Liquidated - S. Africa

Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:47 am

Another small airline (Sun Air of South Africa) has been liquidated ... another dreadful example of many to come... hopefully not more!

How long does small airlines survive as small airlines? (persuming they don't grow)

Heres the article from www.sabcnews.com:

Sun Air liquidated
March 02, 2004, 07:54 PM

Sun Air, a domestic airline operating between Johannesburg and Cape Town, has been liquidated and all flights have been cancelled until further notice. Rowald Kresfelder, Sun Air's managing director, says the airline was liquidated at 5pm after suffering losses and developing a cash flow problem during the past four months. "We had a bad December, January and February and that caused the problem."

All flights had been cancelled and the airline would remain dormant until a new investor could be found. It was the second time Sun Air went belly up. The first time was in 1999 when it was run by British Airways/Comair. At that stage South African Airways (SAA) wanted to buy a 75% stake in the airline. The other 25% would have been owned by British Airways/Comair. SAA, however, withdrew its offer for the majority stake and Sun Air died a quiet death.

In March 2002 it was revived with two aircraft and two flights a day between Johannesburg and Cape Town. The new Sun Air catered for business executives and operated from the much quieter Lanseria airport north of Johannesburg, as opposed to Johannesburg International Airport in Kempton Park.

Sun Air tried to establish a niche market, according to Johan Botha, the then managing director. Sun Air's trade mark was its red leather seats on the two DC 9-32 planes and Botha was confident that the airline would prosper. Its owners were Airquarius Contracts (Pty) Ltd and Million Air Charter Limited. Earlier Kresfelder said the liquidation was "devastating" for the airline's 40 employees. - Sapa

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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: Another Small Airline Liquidated - S. Africa

Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:37 am

Spooky, exactly one week ago I had a fantastic flight on Sun Air (Lanseria-Cape Town), and I already wondered how they could finance their business lounges, separate terminals and on board service (4 abreast, hot meals and champaign) for a ticket price of 799 ZAR (around 94 euro) one way. I feel sorry for their staff, they were so nice compared to the grumpy crabby staff I encountered at Nationwide and SAA.
I will write a trip report as soon as possible.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 4:51 am

RE: Another Small Airline Liquidated - S. Africa

Thu Mar 04, 2004 2:58 am

I have flown on Airquarius in Libya, and find their staff quite good, the aircraft clean, decently maintained, and with generous seat pitch. Hopefully this failure won`t hurt the contract side of Airquarius.
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RE: Another Small Airline Liquidated - S. Africa

Thu Mar 04, 2004 3:04 am

What, again ? That's the second time Sun Air has gone bung. Not too surprising though - operating from HLA was never a really safe bet. Nice for the North Western suburbs but not exactly a throbbing hub of aviation otherwise. And offering 2x2 seating and free champagne for EUR70.00, on a flight with a 2hour stage length, is pretty much tipping money down the drain.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
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RE: Another Small Airline Liquidated - S. Africa

Thu Mar 04, 2004 3:56 am

Sun Air 1999 and Sun Air 2004 were quite different animals, but unfortunately they have gone the same way as Flitestar and several others in South Africa. The new Sun Air banked on business flyers from the affluent northen suburbs of Johannesburg. Unfortunately as we have seen it is difficult to compete with SAA and Comair/BA and Nationwide on the local routes, where people are conditioned to go to JNB and hop the flight to wherever.

After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:14 am

RE: Another Small Airline Liquidated - S. Africa

Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:07 am

I can't wait for your trip report MEA-707.  Big thumbs up

SunAir were a good airline, I'll miss seeing them at CPT.

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