Today, for the first time in over eight months, customers boarded kulula flight MN101, the first Comair flight to take off as the company recommences services.
The flight followed the vast majority of shareholders voting late last week in favour of the shareholding restructuring proposed in the business rescue plan.
This resulted in the Comair Rescue Consortium injecting fresh equity of R500 million into the airline in return for a 99% shareholding. Up to 15% of this shareholding will be allocated to a suitable BBBEE partner within 12 months.
“Today’s flight is a huge step in getting Comair back on its feet as a sustainable business,” says Richard Ferguson, one of the business rescue practitioners. “While the formal business rescue process isn’t entirely over, seeing Comair aircraft back in the skies signals the beginning of the end of one of the most complex and high-profile corporate restructurings in South Africa.
“It’s important to understand that what happened to Comair was the result of an eco-system problem that has seen some 600 airlines around the world cease to operate. Getting back in the air will save jobs, provide the flying public with more choice and competitive fares, strengthen the aviation sector and contribute to the broader South African economy.”
The newly appointed Comair CEO Glenn Orsmond, who was on board the first flight, says it was as special a moment as when the kulula brand was launched 20 years ago.
“Then we introduced low-cost flying to South Africa. Now we’re back and continuing that proud kulula heritage of making flying affordable by offering some exceptional fares.
“We’re hugely grateful to our employees who have been so supportive and patient through the process and are now eager to get back to work, and to our loyal customers, who we’re delighted to welcome back on board.”
Comair will be operating kulula to all major domestic destinations and will be adding Durban/ Cape Town and its Lanseria routes during February.
British Airways (operated by Comair) flights will resume again on 9 December. These will operate on all its domestic routes. Regional routes and the Port Elizabeth-Durban route will be added early next year.
Comair will initially operate a fleet of 15 aircraft across both airline brands, gradually adding a further 10 aircraft back into service over the next seven months.
The recommencement of services will also see the reopening of the popular, award-winning SLOW lounges. Initially the domestic lounges at King Shaka International, Cape Town International and OR Tambo International will open. Other lounges will follow as the flight schedule expands.
For more detail about the reopening of bookings, flight schedules, unused reservations and what to expect when flight operations recommence visit (https://www.comair.co.za/taking-to-the-skies-again). Customers can book by contacting the British Airways’ contact centre on +27 11 921 0222 or on ba.com. kulula.com bookings can be made by calling 0861 KULULA 0861 585 852 or on www.kulula.com