Fly Blue Crane introduced daily flights between Mthatha and Johannesburg. File Picture: DAILY DISPATCH/LULAMILE FENI/
Fly Blue Crane introduced daily flights between Mthatha and Johannesburg. File Picture: DAILY DISPATCH/LULAMILE FENI/

Fly Blue Crane will interrupt its services to finalise a business rescue plan in the next few weeks.

Services would be halted to restructure operations and to reach agreement with its business partners, business rescue practitioner Etienne Naude said on Friday.

SA’s first majority black-and women-owned low-cost airline, Fly Blue Crane entered business rescue in November 2016, just more than a year after its launch.

Fly Blue Crane competes on secondary routes, flying mainly between Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kimberley and Bloemfontein.

It immediately ran into funding constraints.

The airline competed with existing carriers, including South African Express and South African Airlink, while pursuing a "hybrid" model of offering full service at budget airline fares.

It secured a R30m bridging loan from the Industrial Development Corporation and was in talks with a Middle Eastern carrier over a possible equity sale, but this deal did not materialise.

On Friday, Naude said he remained confident about the airline’s future prospects.

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