29 June 2011

South Africa: SA National Taxi Council to launch low-cost airline "Santaco Express"

South Africa's news website news24.com is reporting that the SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) will be launching a low-cost airline in September 2011 as one of many initiatives planned by the council to reform the taxi industry. The new budget airline will be named Santaco Express and will initially operate one or two flights a day between Lanseria in Gauteng to Bhisho in the Eastern Cape, and then on to Cape Town International Airport. The first official take off is planned for November 2011.
Flights with Santaco Express will be operated by Air Aquarius (AirQuarius Aviation?), which works with SA Express and SA Airlink. Air Aquarius (AirQuarius Aviation?) will also supply the 100-seater aircraft, crew and the necessary aviation licences. Santaco is expecting to take over the aviation operation from Air Aquarius within 18 to 24 months.
News24.com is quoting Santaco business development officer Nkululeko Buthelezi saying "I can see some of you rolling your eyes because of how our taxi drivers drive... I can assure you we won’t allow our taxi drivers to drive [the planes]". Fair enough...

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