IATA boots Nationwide

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Nationwide is suspended from IATA`s billing and settlement plan.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has booted South African airline Nationwide from its worldwide billing and settlement plan (BSP) system following the company`s provisional liquidation yesterday.

This is the second time IATA has suspended Nationwide from the global airline IT system. The airline was suspended after the SA Civil Aviation Authority temporarily shut it down last year following safety concerns with the airline`s aircraft. This related to an incident where an engine sheared from a Boeing 737-200 while the plane was attempting take-off.

The BSP is a system by which IATA, as an independent third party, manages the transfer of money derived from cash sales of airline tickets between travel agents and airlines.

IATA issued a media statement overnight that said consistent with BSP procedures agreed upon by all participating airlines and travel agents, IATA immediately upon receiving word that Nationwide had folded “withheld all settlements payable to Nationwide derived from cash sales of tickets sold by IATA-accredited travel agents”.

“IATA is monitoring the situation closely and will make every effort to meet with Nationwide as soon as possible to agree how the money we are holding will be used,” the statement added.

Nationwide says it has been forced out of business by a cash crunch caused by sky-high fuel prices and a fall-off in passenger numbers caused by the first grounding.

In addition, a black empowerment deal that included former Denel CEO Max Sisulu and ex-Nepad head Wiseman Nkuhlu, that may have rescued the airline, failed to materialise.



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