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FlyAfrica finally makes an admission, but the damage is done

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Under sustained pressure by their booked passengers and the market overall, FlyAfrica finally issued a statement to the effect that operations will remain suspended until at least November 4, 2015, fi

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Under sustained pressure by their booked passengers and the market overall, FlyAfrica finally issued a statement to the effect that operations will remain suspended until at least November 4, 2015, finally creating certainty after many days of fogging the issue and littering the public domain with half-hearted assurances that by the following day flights would resume, something which was clearly not going to happen:
7 hrs ·
flyafrica Zimbabwe suspends flights for four days
flyafrica Zimbabwe (Z7) has unfortunately had to announce the immediate suspension of all flights up to and including Wednesday 4th November 2015. This suspension impacts the airline’s flights between Harare and Johannesburg, Bulawayo and Johannesburg and also Victoria Falls and Johannesburg. flyafrica Zimbabwe has taken this step to provide some certainty to its loyal customers while it seeks to resolve with the regulating authority how to resolve the fraudulent and illegal actions of its Zimbabwean partner, Chakanyuka Karase, who unilaterally surrendered the AOC to the Zimbabwean authorities.

Although constructive dialogue is underway with CAAZ, rather than create continued uncertainty for flyafrica Zimbabwe’s customers booked on flights over the next few days on whether flights will operate or not, the airline has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights for this period to allow time for resolution between the airline and CAAZ.

flyafrica Namibia (N6) flights will operate normally during this period on flights between Windhoek and Johannesburg together with Windhoek and Cape Town, which commence on Monday, 2nd November.

flyafrica Zimbabwe passengers booked on via our Call Centre or a Sales Office will be notified of the cancellation of their flight during this period via email and/or sms. Travel agents with clients booked through their reservation systems on flyafrica Zimbabwe during this period will be notified of the cancelation with an update in their client’s reservation.

All flyafrica Zimbabwe passengers impacted by these flight cancellations will be offered a refund for their cancelled flight in the original form of payment.

Passengers who had booked flights during this period are asked to submit a refund request to [email protected] Passengers booked through their travel agent are asked to submit their refund request directly with their travel agent.

We would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this suspension of flyafrica Zimbabwe flights will cause, but would like to assure our loyal customers that we are doing everything in our power to allow us to recommence flyafrica Zimbabwe operations when permitted to do so by CAAZ.

Notably does the statement make no reference to the counter accusations leveled against the airline by the Zimbabwean shareholders who had taken their case to the CAAZ leading to the suspension of the AOC.

When looking at the company’s slogan is it understandable that many passengers of Fly Africa in Zimbabwe would indeed like to stage a revolution as far as this airline is concerned, going by the comments of outrage and anger over the company’s failure to own up to their status vis a vis the Zimbabwe Civil Aviation Authority which has suspended the airline’s Air Operate Certificate, effectively grounding them.

Repeated assurances since the 28th of October that flights would resume, clearly belong into the land of fantasy or were manifest an expressions of (probably rather unjustified) hope by the airline’s management but the fact is – and the comments on the FB page demonstrate this – that passengers felt misled and abandoned.

Vivenne Eastleigh Well Done! Finally advising your customers. There really is no use in deleting people or their comments from your website – The internet and FACEBOOK will always allow posts – so best keep the people and even the negative comments on your own FB page. You have deleted quite a number of posts and people but believe me the message is out there – So who ever is advising you on PR should really rethink… Good to see even though you have had to make some tough calls – not due to your own errors… that you finally have. Don’t delete this… Customer Care should always extend especially when your customer service has failed. You have irrate customers and the only way to fix is to address the situation honestly and in advance. I feel so very sorry for all those stranded at the airport tonight, some have no $ and have returned for a second day only to be turned away again.

Veronica Chapman Think this statement should have been made five days ago, at least already inconvenienced passengers could have made alternative flight arrangements. Having to book a flight at the last minute comes at a premium price, never mind the knock on losses, …See More

Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs
Melisa Mel Gambara How certain are you that you will resume on 05 November? Should people booked for the 6th also apply for a refund?
Like · Reply · 4 hrs
Albert Chimedza Us the public don’t need to see Flyafrica’s dirty linen washed in public. Just announce flight changes. We don’t need to hear of your boardroom wars on Facebook.
Like · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs
2 Replies · 6 hrs

Frank Malaba We have a right to know. My mother was booked on that flight now I’m left with a mess to deal with. The email sent to me does not provide me with a refund process or a single phone number to call. She was due to fly out tomorrow. Now I’m left to run around last minute. I need a number I can call and speak top a human being. Not an email address that will be answered in days.
Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs
Sipiwe Better Mancu Need mynrefund please
Like · Reply · 2 hrs
Solomon Manyaya I dont think anyone in their right mind can trust this airline anymore.One wouldnt want to be left stranded in the festive season which will the worst nightmare as other airlines would be fully booked then.Are you then going to refund those who are booked for December when they cancel now?
Like · Reply · 4 · 6 hrs
6 Replies · 2 hrs

Kudakwashe Mpofu such are the risks of doing biznes in Zim, i know you went through hell to get that licence in the first place thinking at least if yo planes are in the skies then it wil b easy but bigger problems are here, and too much red tape everywher. Mayb you fo…See More
Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs
2 Replies · 4 hrs

Deirdre Bruce-Brand why is there no further update since Friday? what happens to the people who are stuck at the airport today?

Michelle Connor
Today at 12:06pm
Your plane didnt arrive at Or Thambo yesterday you left my friend stranded.

‎Shamiso Good Mancue Mbutuma‎ to
8 hrs ·
All your flights have been cancelled just been on the phone with call centre.hence forth your are not bothered to let the customers know.the worse part of it is you guys still insist people change their flight dates and that the refund will be done in thing that upsets me most is that your website call centre still want to book passengers yet you know it clearly that your flights will not fly out anytime soon.this is pathetic broad daylight fraud by a so called flight company that claims to value their customers.the most frustrating thing is to begin to make other plans and time is running out.if you were in Europe you would pay dearly for this inconvenience..if anything I could to be paid for the time wasted and and inconvenience I will be the first one to make those means thanks ungrateful Flyafrica.

‎Heather Savory‎ to
20 hrs ·
Is there an up to date status??????Are fights cancelled / flying? We are travelling this week and need to make a plan if you’re not going to be flying. Absolutely horrified at the lack of customer service from FlyAfrica. It’s disgusting that you haven’t even released a statement or made an effort to contact customers about what’s happening.

Christine Mu‎ to
23 hrs ·
FlyAfrica, be ethical now. Your fraud has been exposed in the media and people should get FULL refunds or else. It is completely unethical to refund passengers less any amount when you are not flying because of your blatant disregard of local and international aviation requirements. All who have been prejudiced, get your full refund or sue these lawbreakers.

WhTop of Form

What is entirely clear at this stage is that the airline’s corporate communications department has given a text book example of major communications failures and, instead of offering an early comprehensive statement of fact to stay ahead of the evolving crisis, opted for a ‘Wagenburg Mentality’ saying little if anything of substance and when anything was said it was overtaken by events the moment those statements were issued, as was the case with repeated assurances that flights would for sure resume the next day.

The situation, come November 4, will be closely monitored to see if yet another self-set deadline for the resumption of air services will come and go, or if against the odds, the airline will start flights again. However, the company in the public’s perception has suffered some very serious damage as the many comments have shown which angry, disappointed if not outright furious passengers made on the FB page.

Meanwhile, the airline said nothing about their “Birthday Month Special” which had been promoted with some vigor, and here, too, it is wait and see if every 100th customer will indeed get the bonus advertised or else need to ask themselves if this will remain a mirage, too.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.