Category Archives: Comair (South Africa)

Comair and Kulula to be liquidated, was unable to secure funding

Comair and its low-fare subsidiary will be liquidated. The airline group was not able to find new investors.

Comair also operated as a British Airways franchise in South Africa.

The airline issued this statement:

Comair’s business rescue practitioners have on June 9, 2022 lodged a court application to convert the business rescue proceedings into liquidation proceedings.

One of the BRPs, Richard Ferguson, says with its two airline brands – British Airways (operated by Comair and kulula.com), market share, modern aircraft fleet, experienced employees, sales and distributions channels Comair was an inherently viable business. Unfortunately, though, despite their best efforts the BRPs had been unable to secure the capital required for the airline to recommence operations.

“We did our utmost to secure the funding, but when we were unable to do so had no option to lodge the application. It is an extremely sad day for the company, its employees, its customers and South African aviation.” After entering business rescue, Comair was able to start flying again when the Comair Rescue Consortium (CRC) invested R500m for a 99% share of the equity in the company at the time.

Although the amounts indicated by the business rescue plan were invested, the Company unfortunately faced unforeseen headwinds including three further COVID-related air travel lockdowns inter alia the “Red Listing” of South Africa by certain European countries, notably the United Kingdom, the suspension of the Company’s AOC in March 2022 by the regulator as well as significantly high fuel prices experienced in the past five months. Each of these events had a material negative impact on the business. The CRC were only able to finance the impact of these events up to a certain point.

The BRPs ongoing requests to the CRC to provide a plan to raise the further funding necessary to absorb the balance of these and other future potential economic shocks were not successful. In the circumstances, the BRPs approached other lenders to raise the funding required. Regrettably when this funding could not be secured before the existing funding was exhausted, scheduled flight operations were suspended on 31 May 2022.

Comair’s BRPs continued the process to secure additional funding from other sources but despite several parties expressing interest, they were unable to secure sufficient substantive commitment.

Ferguson said that the company’s employees and customers who held bookings or were owed refunds will now become creditors of the Company.

Kulula Route Map:

British Airways (Comair) aircraft photo gallery:

Kulula aircraft photo gallery:

 

Comair suspends all flights pending additional funding

Comair has announced that regrettably it is obliged to suspend all British Airways (operated by Comair) and kulula.com flights from Tuesday evening, May 31, 2022 pending successfully securing additional funding.

The company’s business rescue practitioners (BRPs) have advised that the process to raise the necessary capital is in progress and that there is reason to believe such funding may be secured. Once received, the airline will be able to recommence operations, but regrettably under these circumstances, the practitioners have no choice but to voluntarily suspend all scheduled flights until the funding is confirmed.

British Airways (operated by Comair) and kulula.com ticket sales have also been suspended with immediate effect.

British Airways (Comair) aircraft photo gallery:

Kulula aircraft photo gallery:

Comair’s AOC is reinstated

 

British Airways (operated by Comair) and Kulula.com flights will start operating again tomorrow (March 17) following the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) reinstating Comair’s Air Operators’ Certificate.

Comair’s aircraft are now grounded indefinitely

First MAX 8 for Comair (South Africa), delivered February 26, 2019

Comair issued this statement:

 

Comair is unable to confirm when it will start flying again as the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has indefinitely suspended its operating license until such time as the SACAA has had time to review and satisfy themselves that the items are closed.

 

This is despite the airline working through the night to provide documentation the SACAA had requested following a review of certain policies, systems and procedures.

Comair was advised of a 24-hours suspension to its license on the morning of 12 March. That afternoon the CAA requested additional information, which Comair provided overnight and into the early morning of 13 March 2022.

“We have since received an acknowledgment that the information has been received, but no other formal communication has been received to date. In the interim the CAA has issued a press release saying it will be reviewing and assessing the documents provided,” says Glenn Orsmond, Comair CEO.

“This is a huge blow to our customers, employees and the flying public as it effectively takes 40% of the capacity out of the market. The implications for the aviation sector and the country are considerable should the suspension continue for any length of time.”

He says the airline is continuing to engage the SACAA in a bid to get the suspension lifted but has been forced to cancel flights indefinitely as it cannot say when this may be.

“Our priority now is to assist passengers who have been stranded. We have chartered two aircraft to assist vulnerable passengers and those who most urgently need to travel.”

Customers will be kept informed via SMS.

Route Map:

Top Copyright Photo: British Airways-Comair (South Africa) Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 ZS-ZCA (msn 60432) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 945738.

British Airways-Comair aircraft slide show:

British Airways-Comair aircraft photo gallery:

All Comair flights in South Africa are grounded

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2012

Comair Limited has been grounded for 24 hours by Civil Aviation Authority. This affects British Airways franchise flights and Kulula flights.

Three of the Comair’s aircraft were involved in mid-air emergencies in the last month.

Comair issued this statement on social media:

Top Copyright Photo: Kulula (kulula.com) Boeing 737-8LD WL ZS-ZWF (msn 40856) BFI (Steve Bailey). Image: 929703.

Kulula aircraft slide show:

Kulula aircraft photo gallery:

Comair to relaunch operations on September 1

Comair has issued this statement:

Comair aircraft will be back in the skies again from September 1, 2021 as planned.

The airline, which operates kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair) temporarily suspended services on Monday, July 5, 2021 in response to the implementation of an adjusted Level 4 lockdown, the prohibition of all non-essential travel in and out of Gauteng and low demand for air travel.

It is now preparing its aircraft, flight and cabin crews and airport personnel to ensure a seamless restart of services.

 

During the suspension its revenue management team has been working on some new, flexible fare options to better meet customers’ differing requirements.

Called Travel Your Way the three bundled affordable kulula.com fare offerings allow customers to pay only for what they need. They are:

  • Fly Light: A hop-on, hop-off option for those with only cabin bags offering the best possible fares. A change of booking fee of R299 applies.
  • Pack & Go: An all-round option to suit most traveller’s needs including one piece of checked luggage weighing up to 20kg and two free booking changes.
  • Fully Loaded: A fully flexible option allowing unlimited booking changes, two checked bags and Q-Jump to speed-up check-in procedures.

Comair marketing executive, Brian Kitchin, says temporarily suspending flights was the right decision while COVID-19 cases peaked and the vaccination program gained momentum.

British Airways (operated by Comair) will re-launch it’s Johannesburg/ Mauritius route operating two flights a week from November 30. It plans to add a third flight in future.

Third wave of COVID-19 forces Comair and kulula.com to temporarily suspend services

Comair is temporarily suspending all scheduled kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair) flights for three weeks. This follows the President’s announcement of a move to an adjusted Level 4 lockdown and the prohibition on all non-essential travel in and out of Gauteng.

Flights will be suspended from Monday, July 5, 2021 and Comair aims to recommence services from July 30 subject to regulations being eased and Covid-19 infection rates, particularly in Gauteng, being contained.

Comair CEO, Glenn Orsmond, apologized to customers affected by the suspension.“This was a difficult decision, but we believe under the circumstances is the right course of action for our loyal customers and employees.” Comair business rescue practitioner, Richard Ferguson, described the temporary suspension as a “bold, brave and responsible step in light of the prohibition on leisure travel to and from Gauteng, very little business travel and no connecting traffic from international carriers.”

British Airways (Comair) slide show:

kulula.com slide show:

Comair temporarily takes its new MAX 8 aircraft out of schedule

First MAX 8 for Comair (South Africa), delivered February 26, 2019

Comair has just issued this statement:

 

Comair has decided to remove its 737 MAX 8 from its flight schedule, although neither regulatory authorities nor the manufacturer has required it to do so, Wrenelle Stander, executive director of Comair’s airline division, said on Monday afternoon.

While Comair has done extensive preparatory work prior to the introduction of the first 737 MAX 8 into its fleet and remains confident in the inherent safety of the aircraft, it has decided temporarily not to schedule the aircraft while it consults with other operators, Boeing and technical experts.

“The safety and confidence of our customers and crew is always our priority,” Stander said.

The MAX 8 is the latest iteration of the most common commercial aircraft ever manufactured. It is well-established around the world, particularly in the fleets of large carriers in the United States. There are currently over 370 Boeing 737 MAX 8s in operation, with 47 airlines. The type operates approximately 1 500 flights a day and has accumulated over 250 000 flights in total with an excellent record of daily reliability.

Top Copyright Photo: British Airways-Comair (South Africa) Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 ZS-ZCA (msn 60432) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 945738.

British Airways-Comair aircraft slide show: CLICK HERE

x

Royal Air Maroc suspends Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 operations

Royal Air Maroc is joining other carriers by voluntarily suspending indefinitely the use of its new Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 aircraft as of today. Royal Air Maroc’s CEO, Abdelhamid Addou, stated the company would suspend all MAX flights.

Meanwhile in Africa, Comair, another MAX operator, issued this statement:

Our sympathies are with those affected by the heartbreaking tragedy of Ethiopian Airlines, flight ET 302 – March 10, 2019, especially the families and loved ones of the deceased. We cannot speculate on the causes of this accident, or the Lion Air accident in October 2018, which only a full investigation will resolve. Comair will continue to monitor the various investigations by the relevant authorities and are in close contact with both Boeing and the SACAA.

The 737 MAX 8 is one of the most commonly used aircraft in many airlines today and by November 2018, 330 737 MAX 8 aircraft were in operation globally.

Our highly trained and experienced flight crew and engineers remain vigilant. If we receive information that requires us to reassess the situation, please be assured we will take appropriate action in the interests of the safety of our staff and customers. Safety remains our foremost priority and we will not compromise on the safety of our crew and our customers.

Comair Limited takes delivery of its first Boeing 737-8 MAX 8

First MAX 8 for Comair (South Africa)

Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX 8 to Comair Limited, which becomes the first airline in sub-Sahara Africa to operate the fuel-efficient jet. The airplane is the first of eight 737 MAX airplanes on order for Comair as the airline looks to refresh its fleet and offer better service for its passengers.

The new airplane enters a growing African aviation market, where the domiciled fleet has almost doubled in the past two decades. And over the next two decades, Africa will require nearly 1,200 new jets, according to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook. Boeing airplanes represent nearly 70 percent of the continent’s in-service fleet.

Comair flies an all-Boeing fleet that includes 18 Next-Generation and seven Classic 737s for its kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair) brands. The 737 MAX 8 will allow Comair to achieve 14 percent better fuel efficiency and lower emissions, while flying 600 nautical miles farther than its predecessor.

The MAX’s improved performance is enabled by advanced CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, and other airframe enhancements. Outfitted with the popular Boeing Sky Interior, the MAX 8 can seat 189 passengers in a single-class configuration.

The 737 MAX family is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating over 5,000 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide.

Comair operates in South Africa as a British Airways franchise carrier.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Boeing): British Airways-Comair (South Africa) Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 ZS-ZCA (msn 60432) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 945738.

British Airways-Comair aircraft slide show:

x