Low-cost airline Skywise was officially informed on Thursday that the Competition Commission has decided not to refer its complaint against Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) to the Competition Tribunal.
According to the Commission it does not regard the matter as a competition concern. It did, however, give Skywise the option of now approaching the Tribunal directly within 20 working days.
Skywise first took to South African skies in March 2015 and in December Acsa suspended the flights due to non-payment of certain debts like airport taxes.
"For us the matter is a competition concern, because in our view Acsa gave SAA more time to pay, but not for us. The Commission also never asked us for documentation to substantiate our claim," Skywise co-chair Tabassum Qadir told Fin24 on Thursday. She indicated that Skywise will certainly make use of the option to now approach the Tribunal directly and is of the opinion it will actually speed up the decision process.
Skywise announced last week that it had lodged a complaint with the Competition Commission regarding the way its claims were treated by Acsa.
Earlier this week Skywise had written a letter to Tembinkosi Bonakele, commissioner of the Competition Commission, asking that the case it has brought against Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) be expedited and referred to the Competition Tribunal.
Skywise alleges that Acsa’s grounding of Skywise flights was "an abuse of dominance and a prohibited practice".
Skywise is also suing Acsa for damages in what it claims to be breach of contract.
Acsa claims it affords all its airline clients fair and equal treatment based on the terms and conditions of the client’s contract and other prevailing formal agreements.
Acsa said it maintains that all its decisions and actions have been taken in the company's best commercial interests, while ensuring the sustainability of South Africa’s aviation industry.