Nationwide says it’s business as usual

Nationwide Airlines has resumed all flights in the Eastern and southern Cape after it was grounded for safety reasons last year, the Herald Online reported on Monday.

Nationwide corporate quality director Rodger Whittle said it was safe to say the airline was ”back to normal”.

Whittle said ”thousands” of people had been refunded, ”but the process is ongoing”.

Passengers who bought their tickets before the airline was grounded in November by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) not only had difficulty getting on to replacement flights during the festive season, but were also forced to pay for their tickets again, the newspaper said.

”People who booked with Nationwide were refunded by us, but those who booked through a travel agent must be refunded by that agent. The agents add service costs to the fares,” Whittle said.

Whittle denied the airline was planning on selling its operations to another company. He was quoted, however, as saying the company was looking for an investment partner.

”But we’ve been looking for an investment partner for years. It’s nothing new,” he said.

KLM scare

Meanwhile, a KLM aircraft en route to Amsterdam from Johannesburg returned to OR Tambo International Airport after one of its engines failed on Monday.

The CAA said it was waiting for the airline to file a report about the incident.

Air France and KLM general manager Yeshwant Pawar said: ”We are pleased that all 419 passengers and 18 crew members were safe as the landing was uneventful. Regular check-ups were done on the aircraft before taking off but there were no signs of problems with the engine.”

He said all passengers were accommodated in hotels and provided with meals and telephones to contact their relatives.

”Passengers will be accommodated on the first available flight. Some of them will leave on tonight’s’ [Monday] flights and others tomorrow,” said Pawar. – Sapa

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