On 14 December 2007, Equity Aviation Services launched an application in the Johannesburg High Court for an interdict to allow Equity to continue to provide ramp handling services at all ACSA airports. This was to be pending the finalisation of an application to review a final and binding arbitral award in terms of which Equity's ramp handling licence was determined to have terminated on 30 April 2006 or the finalisation of the tender process (if any) to issue a third ramp handling licence.
The matter was heard before the Honourable Mr Justice Makhanya on 29 and 31 January 2008 and today. Pursuant to full argument, Judge Makhanya has today dismissed Equity's application with costs. This means that, in accordance with the notice by ACSA to Equity on 5 December 2007, Equity's provision of ramp handling services at all ACSA airports comes to an end at the end of February 2008. Equity is, thus, obliged to leave all ACSA airports at the end of February 2008.
Equity will continue to service its clients, with the exception of South African Airways (SAA), until 29 February 2008. ACSA has granted Swissport SA a temporary licence, on a month-to-month basis, to provide ramp handling services to SAA only.
Swissport has taken over a massive operation from Equity. It can therefore be expected that in certain instances operations may encounter challenges. We are confident that, where challenges arise, SAA, Swissport and all other relevant stakeholders will work with us to ensure a smooth transition and find appropriate solutions. ACSA will continue monitoring the situation.
To deal with exigencies, ACSA has deployed additional staff in the operations centres and baggage areas. There is also an increased number of safety and security officers, including visible presence of SA Police Services members, airside and in baggage management areas.
Manager: Communication, ACSA
Mobile: 082 781 8863