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Global Airways is an aircraft leasing & private charter company based in Johannesburg.
Global Airways will be operating its first charter flights from OR Tambo International Airport to Cape Town International Airport, over the Easter weekend. The flight leaves Johannesburg on the 18th April on its way to Cape Town, and returns on Monday the 21st April 2014 (they'll park the Airbus A320 they're using at CPT for the weekend). The charter is being booked by Flight Centre South Africa, and Global Airways is charging R2,200 for a 1-way ticket, with travel agencies adding their comm on. The reason the airfare is so high is because it's the Easter Weekend (no doubt a good time to do a charter flight). As Global Airways don't have a front-end, you can't book flights directly through them.
For regulatory approval an emergency slide test had to be carried out, and this was done on the 4th April 2014, and went smoothly.
Photo credit : @av8alot
To little fanfare, on the 11th January 2014 the above plane, an ex US Airways Airbus A320 (N628AW) landed at OR Tambo International Airport to start her stint with Global Airways. They hadn't announced what it was to be used for, at that stage.
If things continue running this smoothly they could well be the first of the pack of wannabe new airlines to start up shop in South Africa with domestic scheduled flights.
This will allow them to leapfrog fastjet and FlySafair, which both had aborted attempts to start up domestic flights in SA in 2013. Fastjet tried to start up operations in the first half of 2013 and FlySafair in the second half - both airlines ran into problems with the requirement for 75% local ownership (in order to operate scheduled flights in SA). And let us as South Africans face an uncomfortable truth - we probably have not gained terribly much out of stopping them from operating here, other than preventing foreign shareholders from creaming the profits (and if we think ownership of airlines is so wonderful, nothing is stopping us from buying fastjet shares).
The other airlines wanting in on the action are Skywise and Pak Africa Aviation in the guise of 1time. Skywise is the brainchild of the founders of 1time airlines together with Wayne Duvenage (former Avis South Africa Chief Executive) and Johan Bortslap (who used to be Managing Director of Sun Air). It seems that Skywise Airline, which also wanted to launch SA domestic flights, has hit a huge stumbling block, after the Air Services Licensing Authority declined to renew their Air Services licence in April 2014, which was valid for a year. Skywise had applied to extend the licence, as they were still trying to get their Air Operators Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority.
FlySafair we know has restructured their business ownership to comply with the regulations, but we also know that Comair don’t feel that FlySafair should be able to apply for a new licence until the court process regarding their old licence application has run to an end. So, it’s possible that FlySafair will be embroiled in process legalities for a while.
It’s not clear where fastjet are in their plans. Fastjet are planning to start operations in Zambia, so they may be focussed on that for a while.
So, at the moment, from what's visible, it looks like Global Airways may get their scheduled licence and be the first of the new airlines to get going again in South Africa.
Global Airways are waiting for the paperwork to be put in place, before starting regular flights between Johannesburg to Cape Town. They anticipate this will be in a month or 2 (ie May or June 2014).
Global Airways will join Mango & Kulula as one of the 3 airlines whose main selling point is providing cheap flights in South Africa.
On the 11th of April 2014 they're operating a charter from Johannesburg to Livingstone (not open to the public).
On 8 August 2013 Fuelstream, a fuel logistics company, announced that Global Airways has appointed them as "their U. S Representative for their scheduled service to Miami, Florida". A rumour started that Global Airways were planning to operate 4 flights a week from Johannesburg to Miami - well, at least we think it's a rumour, as it never realised! That's the airline industry filled with rumours, as well as plans that fail to take off.