On Tuesday (1 December 2020), 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.”
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 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.