ACSA to compensate soccer fans

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pretoria - Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) has confirmed that it will compensate match ticket carrying passengers who missed Wednesday night's FIFA World Cup semi-final between Germany and Spain in Durban due to congestion at King Shaka International Airport.

They have set aside R400 000 to do this.

"ACSA realises that no amount of money could ever adequately compensate the fans for missing the opportunity to watch the second 2010 FIFA World Cup semi-final match on African soil. The question of whether ACSA is legally liable for any loss resulting from this unfortunate event is still to be determined.

"Nevertheless, ACSA has, as a gesture of goodwill, but without admitting any liability, decided to set aside an amount of R400,000, for semi-final match ticket carrying passengers who were on board the six aircraft that were turned back," said ACSA Managing Director Monhla Hlahla on Friday.

Six scheduled flights, (SAA 575, SA 1339, Kulula MN603, Kulula MN641, BA 6313 and BA 6307) were forced to either return to base or divert to other airports, resulting in about 600 passengers missing the showpiece.

"I apologise to all South Africans and, most importantly, all fans who missed the opportunity to attend the semi-final in Durban and for the inconvenience caused," Hlahla said. .

She said she hoped the gesture would put this incident "behind us" and the focus would now be on ensuring that passengers attending the two remaining matches are facilitated with dedication and pride.

ACSA is reviewing all the facts around the matter and the legal implications and the necessary steps will be taken once all findings have been considered.

The logistics of how the money is to be disbursed will be discussed with the affected airlines, as they have passenger details, and will be announced as soon as possible, said ACSA.

Since June 11 2010, the industry facilitated over 32 500 aircraft movements throughout the ACSA network of airports.