South Africa Threatens to Ground Emirates Airline Flights Over Dispute
The South African government is threatening to halt all Emirates Airline flights to that country following a dispute about the airline’s plans to operate a fourth flight into the country.
The South African government has been trying to renegotiate an eight-year-old agreement with the United Arab Emirates that permits Emirates Airline to operate 49 weekly flights in and out of the country. The news was first reported by South Africa’s Sunday Times.
Last month, Emirates announced it will launch a fourth daily flight and this resulted in what was at first a request and later an instruction for UAE Minister of Economy bin Saeed Al Mansoori to be present at a meeting by November 17 to discuss the situation, accompanied by an ultimatum to ground all Emirates flights into and out of South Africa. “South Africa will have no choice but to ground Emirate Airline,” officials told their UAE counterparts, according to the Sunday Times.
Emirates Airline was allowed to increase the number of flights it operates to South Africa to support an increased demand in 2010, when South Africa hosted the World Cup.
According to papers filed by Emirates at the High Court in Pretoria, the Department of Transport had given the airline written approval in July to launch a fourth flight. The agency then informed the airline that it was withdrawing permission, citing a lack of due process.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)