Three of Nationwide Airlines’ Boeing 737s went under the hammer today and sold, for the flyaway bargain price $1.07m, to an unknown bidder.
The sale rings the last bell for the airline. Since its grounding for several weeks last November after an engine fell off a 737 on take-off from Cape Town International, its CEO, Vernon Bricknell, has tried very hard to find a buyer for Nationwide.
A press release sent to The Wanderer says that a potential deal fell through at the last moment and the liquidator was forced to sell off Nationwide’s aircraft which have been parked in a lonely huddle at OR Tambo International Airport since November.
It’s sad end. The Wanderer enjoyed flying Nationwide – friendly crew, good food and cheap fares. It also added that little bit of extra competition which has been really good for the domestic airline business in South Africa.
Just sorry that it wasn’t SAA … (Sorriest Airline in Africa)
Quite right – statistics show that Nationwide were most frequently the cheapest airline in 2007. It’s a pity they’re gone, but hopefully the young bucks, Interlink Airlines and Airtime Airlines, will rise to the challenge and fill the gap.
The key thing here is competition. When SAA had the monopoly on domestic air travel, fares between Cape Town and Joburg were around half of what it cost to fly to London. I don’t want to see those days again, no sir.
I have just come back from a holiday in RSA. Flew with SAA four times. Service was good. But I find the prices to high from all the airlines that operate in SA. Its cheaper to fly Hamburg to London (89 euros) than JNB-DUR (140 Euros). SA needs competition in the domestic air travel.
The sooner the politicians agree tpo plug the plug on SAA the better. The hard-pressed taxpayer cannot be expected to fund this badly mismanaged, nepotistic “organisation” for ever. If the politicians want it and businessmen are prepared to use them, let them increase their prices so that the taxpayers monies are not used to write off their debts.
Finger trouble: Should read “to pull the plug”
I doubt the politicians will pull the plug on SAA any time soon – there’s too much vanity involved in having a national carrier.
But, yes, in an ideal world, the market would decide who is groundbound and who gets to fly another day. That said, various of the US carriers are asking their government for handouts …
I think what SAA needs is MORE competition.
And yes, in an ideal world, market forces would decide who gets grounded and who gets to fly another day. That said, various of the US carriers are going to their government for handouts as the air travel takes a bullet.
Why not just turn the national carrier over to the guys at Foster Brothers?
These guys are master aviators who are passionate about flying and actually know the industry inside out….SA has a solution right here on home turf…Its called SA Airlink and Foster Aero…go check’em out
I still remember Flitestar – what a great little airline that was…