Nationwide Airlines is claiming more than R155 million in damages from South African Airways (SAA) relating to an alleged abuse of dominance.

In addition to this claim, SAA may in the future face civil damages relating to price fixing involving international air cargo surcharges and domestic route prices during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

On April 4 2012 Nationwide (now liquidated) announced that it was suing SAA in the High Court for damages in the second of two separate claims relating to SAA's inducement of travel agents not to sell air tickets to SAA's competitors.

The first claim relates to an action brought by rival Comair Limited and Nationwide in 2006, after the Competition Tribunal found that SAA had abused its dominant position in the domestic air travel market by offering anti-competitive incentives to travel agents between 1999 and 2001. Nationwide's claim was settled by SAA for an undisclosed amount, but Comair's claim is still pending.

Nationwide's second claim relates to similar anti-competitive incentives offered by SAA to travel agents from 2001 to 2005. Comair has previously issued a summons against SAA for damages in respect of this conduct, which is also currently pending.

For further information on this topic please contact Martin Versfeld at Webber Wentzel by telephone (+27 11 530 5000), fax (+27 11 530 5111) or email ([email protected]).