(eTN) – A temporary relief granted by court for a period of 30 days may be the last lifeline for embattled Fly540 in Kenya, as creditors are now moving in for the proverbial “kill” to have the airline wound up.
A court verdict by Commercial Court Justice Jonathan Havelock to pay nearly US$700,000 for outstanding fuel bills in mid-February this year, were reportedly ignored and from a source close to the action in Nairobi, it was learned that some checks were not paid. Justice Havelock in an unusually strong sentiment called the defense mounted by the airline at the time a “sham,” and though the airline later claimed to have dismissed the fuel claims as not true, the judgment of the Commercial Court still stands, unless appealed and overturned by a court of the next instance.
Besides the fuel suppliers, it has been reported that at least two former airline staff have also joined in the application to have the company wound up, with others considering the same step, which would likely bring very dirty laundry into the public domain should they enter the witness box and spill the proverbial deal over the tactics and methods employed by the airline’s management.
Said a regular aviation source from Nairobi, on condition of anonymity fearing vengeance by 540 executives: “You just have to look who runs that airline and the track record – failed at Regional Air and failed before – why should this time be different really? Except this time we have a new judiciary which has already proven that they will rule on fact and not on fiction.”
Meanwhile, other regular aviation sources from Kenya and Tanzania have pointed to the increased frustration by new kid on the block, FastJet, over the problems in Kenya, which compelled them to start up in Tanzania instead of their intended launch of flight operations in Kenya, which is a substantially larger aviation market and would be more conducive to reaching their ambitious passenger targets.
The temporary relief granted by the court for Fly540 expires on November 12.