Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Taxi industry to launch airline

At first I didn't want to belive but it seems that the Taxi industry is indeed going to launch an airline, can anyone say four four masihlalisane...More after the jump:

The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) is launching a low-cost airline, it said on Wednesday.

“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),” Santaco business development officer Nkululeko Buthelezi told potential investors and reporters in Johannesburg.

The Santaco Express would be officially launched on September 16 and would take to the skies by November, he said.

The future of aviation...

Buthelezi said Santaco was looking at routes such as Lanseria to Bhisho, which made sense for its customers who often made a 14-hour road trip for a funeral only to return 5-hours later.

Santaco Express would initially operate one or two flights a day between Lanseria in Gauteng to Bhisho in the Eastern Cape, and then on to the Cape Town International Airport.

It would be operated by Air Aquarius, which works with SA Express and SA Airlink.

Air Aquarius would supply 100-seater aircraft, crew and the necessary aviation licences.

Bhisho Airport
Santaco president AJ Mthembu said the aviation model would work as commuters would be taken from the taxi rank to the airport, then transported to a taxi rank at their destination.

“Our potential is to make a bush into a city,” he said, explaining that the airline would focus on regional airports.

“We specialise in awkward areas because that’s where our business is.”  

Mthembu said the cost of the ticket — from taxi rank to rank —  had yet to be finalised, but Santaco was looking at between R500 and R600.

“We will be building everything into one price in the affordable sector,” he said.

Just like some taxis...some planes might look like this

The airline would undertake a dry run on September 16, when Santaco would fly members from Lanseria to Durban for its 10th anniversary celebration.

It would open ticket sales immediately after this, with the first commercial flights late in November just in time for the heavy December holiday traffic, Buthelezi said.

Air Aquarius would hand over skills to Santaco and in 18 to 24 months, the taxi association expected to take over the aviation operation, he said.

The possibilities of how this airline turns out all lead to a laughter, not that I'm not taking this Taxi Airline seriously but I have to wonder whether or not they'll have airplane's with names and big ass sound. I'd actually like the airplanes to take on the persona of Taxi's except for the holes on the bottom of the floor of course.



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