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LAXintl
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UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Wed Jun 01, 2022 1:56 am

South African operator Comair has announced that it is obliged to suspend all British Airways operated by Comair and kulula.com flights from Tuesday 31 May evening while appointed business rescue practitioners seek to raise the necessary capital for the business.

The airline says once funding is secured it will seek to resume operations, but until such time it must voluntarily suspend all scheduled flights.

https://newsroom.aviator.aero/comair-su ... f-funding/
 
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mercure1
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Wed Jun 01, 2022 2:40 pm

Big blow for SA. Last time they suspended ops news said they represented 40 percent of market capacity.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:15 pm

So the largest airline in the wealthiest country in southern Africa..... is Airlink who fly a bunch of Embraers
To see one airline collapse is bad luck, but for the two largest airlines in a country to collapse in a few years is impressive
 
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PM
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:32 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
So the largest airline in the wealthiest country in southern Africa..... is Airlink who fly a bunch of Embraers
To see one airline collapse is bad luck, but for the two largest airlines in a country to collapse in a few years is impressive

Be grateful for Airlink and their Embraers. I am. Great service and an impressive network. Let's hope they grow and grow.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:54 pm

What are the odds that Airlink expands into 737 operations, or at least seeks to lease in Embraer 195s?
 
Italianflyer
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 02, 2022 2:53 am

When does British Airways continue to throw their (somewhat) valuable brand after this zombie airline??
 
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spinkid
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 02, 2022 4:54 am

Italianflyer wrote:
When does British Airways continue to throw their (somewhat) valuable brand after this zombie airline??


they have a long history of working with them to connect passengers to other counties and cities in the region who do not get direct European service. Quite frankly I don't think there are any other realistic partners.
 
zkncj
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 02, 2022 5:12 am

Italianflyer wrote:
When does British Airways continue to throw their (somewhat) valuable brand after this zombie airline??


Surely there must be a out clause in the franchise agreement, that allows termination based on this. Not having the OPEX to run services, would tend to suggest there are larger issues with the airlines model if it’s happen again in such a short time.
 
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77west
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 02, 2022 5:41 am

Italianflyer wrote:
When does British Airways continue to throw their (somewhat) valuable brand after this zombie airline??


Comair has been around a long time, since the early 90's if not earlier. I always remember their BA and later Kulula services as being very well run, the business was well run, certainly one of the top 10 in Africa. They have a fairly modern fleet with brand new MAX's arriving. I guess Covid downturn and the state regulator shutting them down for mostly political reasons has not helped their cashflow. Its sad really.
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 02, 2022 12:38 pm

First Mango, now Comair...for a country that needs a decent route network, they sure know how to manage their airlines.
 
KingOrGod
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 02, 2022 1:13 pm

77west wrote:
Italianflyer wrote:
When does British Airways continue to throw their (somewhat) valuable brand after this zombie airline??


Comair has been around a long time, since the early 90's if not earlier. I always remember their BA and later Kulula services as being very well run, the business was well run, certainly one of the top 10 in Africa. They have a fairly modern fleet with brand new MAX's arriving. I guess Covid downturn and the state regulator shutting them down for mostly political reasons has not helped their cashflow. Its sad really.


Max order was cancelled. Or was trying to.
 
Someone83
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:09 am

Waiting for a source, but looks the they were unsuccessful finding new investors and will be liquidated
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:11 am

 
usflyer msp
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 09, 2022 12:28 pm

That is so sad. They were profitable for 60+ years and everything fell apart in 3 years.
 
TexasAirCorp
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 09, 2022 1:05 pm

Someone83 wrote:
Waiting for a source, but looks the they were unsuccessful finding new investors and will be liquidated

So who’s left? Safair and Lift?
 
AWACSooner
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 09, 2022 2:32 pm

TexasAirCorp wrote:
Someone83 wrote:
Waiting for a source, but looks the they were unsuccessful finding new investors and will be liquidated

So who’s left? Safair and Lift?

I'm sure Airlink and SAA will step in to help fill the Comair/Kulula void as well.

So Mango, Comair, and Kulula all gone within a 1-year span...
 
debonair
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:07 pm

TexasAirCorp wrote:
So who’s left? Safair and Lift?


Trunk routes, like CPT-JNB are also operated by "regional" airlines, like AIRLINK and CemAir.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:45 pm

77west wrote:
Italianflyer wrote:
When does British Airways continue to throw their (somewhat) valuable brand after this zombie airline??


Comair has been around a long time, since the early 90's if not earlier. I always remember their BA and later Kulula services as being very well run, the business was well run, certainly one of the top 10 in Africa. They have a fairly modern fleet with brand new MAX's arriving. I guess Covid downturn and the state regulator shutting them down for mostly political reasons has not helped their cashflow. Its sad really.


Comair had been around since 1943. The real question is replacing the 737 sized capacity. Airlink and Safair are now the largest carriers.
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Thu Jun 09, 2022 6:46 pm

Total shame. The Comair 727-200 was so awesome in BA colours.
 
ScottB
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Re: Comair suspends ops (again)

Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:22 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Comair had been around since 1943. The real question is replacing the 737 sized capacity. Airlink and Safair are now the largest carriers.


No, the real question is whether there's a need for that capacity. Presumably, if there were, investors could have been found to take Comair out of business rescue.
 
majano
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:24 pm

I remember having a debate with another user on this very forum at the front end of the pandemic about Comair. They were arguing that Comair would be fine despite the pandemic because of its history of successful and profitable operations. I pointed out that such a view could not be supported and look where we are today!

The South African government took a very hard-line attitude towards airlines during the pandemic and offered the absolute minimum support, unlike the USA as an example. This support was mainly the UIF-Covid-19 TERS, a payroll assistance scheme. Other than that, nothing! Anyway, even good things come to an end at some point.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:36 pm

South Africa is a geographically large country with over 60m people, and plenty of pockets of money dotted around. It should definitely be able to support a substantial airline with a significant number of A32x/B737 aircraft
 
ahj2000
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Fri Jun 10, 2022 1:02 am

I imagine with ashaky SAA and no Comair, South Africa will be in for it. I wonder if someone else will come in and try to start a new airline (QR? BA mk.2?--an OW full member in ZA would be cool.)
 
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N62NA
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Fri Jun 10, 2022 1:24 am

Such sad news. I was fortunate enough to fly them a little over a month ago, JNB-CPT and CPT-JNB in business class. The flight attendants were great, the hot meal service was fantastic and the planes were in great condition (at least the cabins were). On-time departures on both flights.
 
9252fly
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Fri Jun 10, 2022 1:39 am

ahj2000 wrote:
I imagine with ashaky SAA and no Comair, South Africa will be in for it. I wonder if someone else will come in and try to start a new airline (QR? BA mk.2?--an OW full member in ZA would be cool.)


I expect the remaining carriers will pick up the slack eventually before a new entrant gets established, or for that matter seriously considers it. Who do we have left standing, SAA, Lift, AirLink, Safair and Cemair. I think those five carriers expanding should fill the vacuum nicely by acquiring additional aircraft? Who knows, maybe we'll see the return of Mango, stranger things have happened is South African aviation. Nevertheless, I'm saddened by the loss of Comair and its business operating units BA South Africa and Kulula.
 
sxf24
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Fri Jun 10, 2022 3:44 am

9252fly wrote:
ahj2000 wrote:
I imagine with ashaky SAA and no Comair, South Africa will be in for it. I wonder if someone else will come in and try to start a new airline (QR? BA mk.2?--an OW full member in ZA would be cool.)


I expect the remaining carriers will pick up the slack eventually before a new entrant gets established, or for that matter seriously considers it. Who do we have left standing, SAA, Lift, AirLink, Safair and Cemair. I think those five carriers expanding should fill the vacuum nicely by acquiring additional aircraft? Who knows, maybe we'll see the return of Mango, stranger things have happened is South African aviation. Nevertheless, I'm saddened by the loss of Comair and its business operating units BA South Africa and Kulula.


I don’t think SAA or Comair are financially or operationally positioned for massive expansion. I think Safair is the near-term winner with lower costs, good management, and strong backing. AirLink will also have a strong niche.
 
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enzo011
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Fri Jun 10, 2022 5:54 am

davidjohnson6 wrote:
South Africa is a geographically large country with over 60m people, and plenty of pockets of money dotted around. It should definitely be able to support a substantial airline with a significant number of A32x/B737 aircraft



You have 2 things correct, it is a large country and there are over 60m people. But the reality is the disparity between those too poor to fly and those comfortable enough to afford flights is just too big in the country. There are a lot of poor countries that have multiple airlines operating in them, take the Philippines as an example, but the expenses to run an airline seems to be too big and the potential market too small for a true LCC to step in like you see in other countries.
 
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argentinevol98
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Fri Jun 10, 2022 3:12 pm

How desperate would BA/IAG be to replace the capacity and connections that the Comair franchise gave them? Would it be enough to reach out to another SA carrier, namely something like Airlink and tempt them into picking up 737 type capacity running the BA brand? Or is BA better off just setting up some codeshare agreements with local carriers and ditching the SA brand? I don't know enough about the local market.
 
leftcoast8
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:04 pm

It was the quickest way to get from Australia to Zimbabwe. Fly to JNB on SAA, then JNB-HRE on Comair.

I'm guessing SYD/BNE/PER-HRE traffic will be shunted onto Emirates?
 
9252fly
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Fri Jun 10, 2022 6:23 pm

leftcoast8 wrote:
It was the quickest way to get from Australia to Zimbabwe. Fly to JNB on SAA, then JNB-HRE on Comair.

I'm guessing SYD/BNE/PER-HRE traffic will be shunted onto Emirates?


There's currently a non-stop QF flight operating 4 days a week SYD - JNB. Of the 9 daily flights JNB - HRE, there is a flight with a 2:45 min connection on Fastjet that arrives in HRE at 2005. Doesn't help the folks in PER though as it's quite a back haul.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Sat Jun 11, 2022 9:40 am

The letter for those who want to read it.

https://www.comair.co.za/press-room/com ... gn=website
 
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LAXintl
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Mon Jun 27, 2022 7:06 pm

South African Civil Aviation Authority pushing to have Comair AOC canceled which could preclude any hope of sale or restart. AOC currently is suspended.

https://www.citizen.co.za/news/south-af ... se-to-fly/
 
Raptormodeller
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:29 am

davidjohnson6 wrote:
South Africa is a geographically large country with over 60m people, and plenty of pockets of money dotted around. It should definitely be able to support a substantial airline with a significant number of A32x/B737 aircraft

One forgets the sheer level of corruption in that country. I'm willing to bet, IF Comair got any bailout cash during the pandemic from the SA government, at least some of it will have been nicked using new and exciting forms of embezzlement on the government side. That country should theoretically have been on track to match European economies in the decades following 1994 yet in 2022 they can't even keep the lights on. As much as this bankruptcy is a shame and could be due to any number or variety of factors, I'm not surprised when I hear news of big businesses failing in South Africa and if the political stage stays the way it is.... more of this can be expected in the Future down in SA.
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Tue Jun 28, 2022 2:00 am

With South African aviation as a whole essentially having the largest players exit, what are the short/medium/long term needs/solutions of/for the nation?

While SAA was destined to death through Covid, losing Comair presents a significant loss of capacity, and/or significant 'opportunities' (read, challenges) for smaller carriers in the nation, to 'ramp up' their services, to meet the need(s). While wishing them well - works, I do wonder if the future of South African aviation will successfully include a full service (capacity) carrier, or, expanded 'regional carrier' services, and/or how LCC (and/or ULCC) carriers work in those situations. Surely lower costing operations, especially if done over a network that is run efficiently and well, would be advantageous to any market - however could well be an patient, possibly winning strategy for South Africa's needs (domestically, and regionally) and partnering with international carriers (via JVs, Alliance Memberships, Codeshares and/or where possible foreign investment) for long-haul (if/when profitable, expanding into select markets when able/aircraft capable on property, if truly needed - noting the 'success' of LCC Longhauls, generally). We're rarely presented an option to start, from the bottom. I wonder what will, and can work - for South Africa.

This time/opportunity will allow new entrant(s) and expansions into a market that is purely open to new products, and at lease rates/available aircraft where fuel efficiency upgrades and up-gauging would lower costs, assist in fuel efficiency, improve passenger experiences, better utilize crews, and to better ecological effects. Despite the departures, coupling a carrier with South African ingenuity and decently meeting the market's needs could do well, in a newly open market that does have some lucrative opportunities, if/when smartly played. What does that winning strategy look like short/medium/long term?
Last edited by Rajahdhani on Tue Jun 28, 2022 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Tue Jun 28, 2022 2:09 am

I do apologize if this has been brought up before, in another topic/board, however;

https://www.news24.com/News24/Does-Comair-have-eyes-on-Africa-expansion-20140319"...announced a R9bn ordered for eight Boeing 737 MAX 8s – making Comair the first airline in Africa to order these new fuel-efficient planes.

Erik Venter, CEO of Comair says, “This R9bn investment in Comair’s fleet upgrade is fundamental to its business strategy of consistently improving customer service and value, while ensuring a sustainable airline, by minimising the impact of the fuel price on airfares.”

The 737 MAX, which is the most technologically advanced 737 variation to date, designed by Boeing, will go into production in 2017 and Comair will take delivery of the first of 8 planes in 2019 and the last by 2022.

Interestingly enough the airline has a second batch of eight 737 Max planes waiting in the wings, locked in at the same estimated order price. That’s a potential R18bn investment, six times its last fleet upgrade investment of R3.5bn, which began in 2012. ".


I bring this up, because - did Comair lease these aircraft? Or, did the order/own them outright, themselves? I ask - because many MAX operators were compensated (and/or were to receive discounts or credits with Boeing) for the MAX's delayed arrival/EIS and/or for downtime of the frames while they were re-certified for flight operations. Did Comair receive their benefits? I do see that if leased, that would likely be granted to the lessor, however - if not - I do wonder how these will be calculated into any liquidation proceedings?
 
USAirKid
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Tue Jun 28, 2022 3:21 am

Rajahdhani wrote:
I do apologize if this has been brought up before, in another topic/board, however;

https://www.news24.com/News24/Does-Comair-have-eyes-on-Africa-expansion-20140319"...announced a R9bn ordered for eight Boeing 737 MAX 8s – making Comair the first airline in Africa to order these new fuel-efficient planes.

Erik Venter, CEO of Comair says, “This R9bn investment in Comair’s fleet upgrade is fundamental to its business strategy of consistently improving customer service and value, while ensuring a sustainable airline, by minimising the impact of the fuel price on airfares.”

The 737 MAX, which is the most technologically advanced 737 variation to date, designed by Boeing, will go into production in 2017 and Comair will take delivery of the first of 8 planes in 2019 and the last by 2022.

Interestingly enough the airline has a second batch of eight 737 Max planes waiting in the wings, locked in at the same estimated order price. That’s a potential R18bn investment, six times its last fleet upgrade investment of R3.5bn, which began in 2012. ".


I bring this up, because - did Comair lease these aircraft? Or, did the order/own them outright, themselves? I ask - because many MAX operators were compensated (and/or were to receive discounts or credits with Boeing) for the MAX's delayed arrival/EIS and/or for downtime of the frames while they were re-certified for flight operations. Did Comair receive their benefits? I do see that if leased, that would likely be granted to the lessor, however - if not - I do wonder how these will be calculated into any liquidation proceedings?



I'm not sure on the details of South African bankrupcy law, but in US bankruptcy law those financial benefits would become part of the bankruptcy estate and be distributed to the creditors of the bankrupt company. I expect the same thing would happen here.
 
airlinepeanuts
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Re: UPDATE: Comair (South Africa) suspended ops, to be liquidated

Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:38 pm

Looks like US based Sun Country just got delivered an ex-Comair plane. Now registered as N845SY

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