Landing on a different sky

Low-cost airline Viva Macau has cancelled its first flight into Australia after failing to receive regulatory approval.

The proposed flights, the first of which was due to land in Sydney at 10am today, could still be delayed for weeks as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority processes its application for an Air Operators Certificate.

Chief executive Con Korfiatis said several alternatives were available to affected passengers including Viva Macau arranging for a flight with another airline, a full refund or the option of rebooking on a future Viva Macau flight. The company released a statement yesterday apologising for the inconvenience. Mr Korfiatis, founding chief executive of Jetstar Asia, said Viva Macau would provide a free return ticket, redeemable within a year, to any of its scheduled destinations .

"We expect only a small number of flights will be affected until we have received the final approval," Mr Korfiatis said.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said the delay was because Viva Macau had not provided information that the regulator had requested months ago.

"The airline only gave us the full package of information we needed about two weeks ago, so we really hadn't been able to start proper assessment until then," he said.

The event is a major embarrassment for Viva Macau, which hopes to increase its flights into Sydney from three a week into a daily service and to expand into other Australian cities.


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