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South Africa’s biggest private-sector airline reports record performance

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd February 2018 South African private-sector airline group Comair, operator of the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands, has announced that it had achieved a record performance for the first half of the current financial year (July 1 to December 31, 2017). Earnings before interest,... 

Record performance by South Africa’s biggest private-sector airline

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th February 2018 South African private-sector airline group Comair, operator of the British Airways in South Africa and Kulula low cost carrier brands, announced on Tuesday that it had achieved a record performance for the first half of the current financial year (July 1 to December 31, 2017). Earnings before... 

Move to single-pilot operation would undermine air safety, says aviation expert

By: Keith Campbell     29th September 2017 Proposals that airlines could move single-pilot operation, in place of the current system of pilot and co-pilot (more formally, Captain and First Officer), in order to reduce costs, are most ill-advised, affirmed Comair crew resource management specialist Michael Bowyer (himself a pilot). He was... 

Two pilots are safer than one – aviation expert 

By: Keith Campbell     15th September 2017 Proposals that airlines could move single-pilot operation, in place of the current system of pilot and co-pilot (more formally, Captain and First Officer), in order to reduce costs, are most ill-advised, affirmed Comair crew resource management specialist Michael Bowyer (himself a pilot) on... 

Comair shows strong profit growth in tough conditions

By: News24Wire      12th September 2017 Comair issued its annual financial results on Tuesday, reporting a 54% increase in profits to R297m and a 28% increase in cash generated by its operations. Comair operates under its low-cost airline brand, kulula.com, as well as under the British Airways livery, as part of its British Airways... 

Comair dealing with poor economic situation in SA 

     7th September 2017 The weak South African economy is affecting the local airline sector. Keith Campbell reports on how one local airline group, Comair, is meeting the challenge. 

Govt urged to sell loss-making SAA

By: News24Wire      25th August 2017 Government should get out of the commercial airline space and sell the loss-making South African Airways (SAA), according to Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Janine Myburgh. “SAA has become a black hole that is simply consuming the resources of the country, and it would be... 

Comair reports its diversification strategy is working

By: Keith Campbell     28th July 2017 South African airline group Comair Limited’s strategy of countering the weak local air passenger market by diversifying its business is proving successful, reports company CEO Erik Venter. “It’s working very well. About 20% of our profits are coming from our non-airline businesses and we’re... 

Court rules in favour of Comair in SAA case

By: News24Wire      15th February 2017 Comair advised shareholders on Wednesday that the South Gauteng High Court has ruled in its favour in a case Comair initiated against South African Airways (SAA) 14 years ago in respect of the national carrier's anti-competitive travel agent incentive schemes. According to Comair the scheme was... 

Stronger rand drives Comair’s interim earnings higher

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     27th January 2017 A stronger rand has contributed to a 125% to 145% year-on-year increase in Comair’s earnings per share (EPS) for the six months ended December 31. Comair expects to report EPS of 40c to 44c for the interim period. 

Future of St Helena airport uncertain as it is deemed unusable by commercial airlines 

By: Irma Venter     27th January 2017 The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has spent £285.5-million of British taxpayers’ money on building an airport in St Helena that is not usable by commercial airlines. This is the main finding of a report published by the UK House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts. 

Comair CEO raises questions on State airlines merger 

By: News24Wire      12th January 2017 It is unclear what a merger between the three State-owned airlines SAA, Mango and SA Express would achieve that cannot be achieved by each airline individually, Erik Venter, CEO of Comair, told Fin24. This was in reaction to a parliamentary response by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.... 

UK government report slams St Helena airport development 

By: Irma Venter     14th December 2016 The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has spent £285.5-million of British taxpayers’ money on building an airport in St Helena that is not usable by commercial airlines. This is the main finding of a report published by the UK House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts on... 

SAA’s losses for 2014/15 almost R1bn more than R4.7bn guarantee

By: News24Wire      20th September 2016 SAA’s losses for the 2014/15 financial year was R5.6-billion – close to R1-billion more than the expected amount of R4.7-billion. This emerged when the national carrier presented its 2014 to 2015 interim financial statements to parliament’s standing committee on finance on Tuesday. 

Myeni to be grilled at parly finance meeting

By: African News Agency      19th September 2016 The Democratic Alliance will attempt to get to the bottom of the myriad issues plaguing South African Airways (SAA) at the scheduled appearance of the SAA board and executive before Parliament’s finance standing committee on Tuesday. The 2014/15 SAA annual financial statements tabled late on... 

SAA scraps idea that it gave Mango cheap plane leases 

By: News24Wire      16th June 2016 Four days after South African Airways (SAA) said it sub-leased aircraft to its low-cost subsidiary Mango Airlines at a discounted cost, inadvertently raising concerns of collusion, the embattled airline did an about-turn and denied that it had done so. The change in tune came hours after... 

Comair interdicts process to suspend its domestic license 

By: African News Agency      10th May 2016 Comair on Tuesday said it had launched an urgent application to interdict the Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC) from suspending the it’s domestic license pending the outcome of a review by a court of law in relation to FlySAfair’s three-year long complaint against airline’s foreign... 

FlySafair: We are not for sale to Comair

By: News24Wire      13th April 2016 Amidst continued speculation in the SA aviation industry about the Comair acquisition deal underway, low-cost airline FlySafair has vehemently denied that it is for sale. Kirby Gordon, FlySafair's vice president of sales and distribution, told Fin24 on Wednesday that, although the Comair... 

Comair staff to embark on strike

By: Anine Kilian     12th April 2016 JSE-listed airline Comair’s airport ground staff, represented by trade union Uasa, will embark on a strike on Wednesday. The union and Comair had been engaged in salary negotiations since the beginning of November 2015.  

Bidvest lifts H1 earnings, despite challenging markets; Joffe to step down as group CEO

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th February 2016 Notwithstanding “a backdrop of challenging market conditions, particularly in the Southern African region”, JSE-listed Bidvest’s headline earnings a share rose 13% to R10.02c, while basic earnings a share rose 7.8% to 930.9c for the six months to December 31. Headline earnings rose 14.7% to... 

Comair warns of 50% drop in H1 earnings

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th January 2016 Aviation group Comair continued to experience a contraction in earnings and reversal of revenue growth in the half-year to December 2015 on the back of a decline in average market fares. The group on Thursday said it expected earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) to... 

Challenges facing the aviation industry

By: News24Wire      12th October 2015 he fundamental problem in the African aviation industry is fragmentation and that protectionism of national airlines will not go away soon, according to Erik Venter, CEO of Comair and chair of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (Aasa). This fragmentation in the African industry makes it... 

‘Aggressive’ new market entrants reverse Comair’s revenue growth in H2

By: Natalie Greve     14th September 2015 The entry of two “aggressive” competitors in the second half of the 2015 financial year has dragged on aviation group Comair’s second-half earnings, reversing the revenue growth experienced in the first half of the year, as the airline returned savings on the price of fuel to its customers by way... 

South African low-cost airline set to have the youngest fleet in region

By: Keith Campbell     14th August 2015 The delivery of the last of the six new Boeing 737-800 aircraft ordered by South African low cost carrier kulula.com (kulula) in 2009 will give the carrier the youngest airline fleet in Southern Africa, the company has reported. Part of the Comair group, kulula (the company spells the name with a... 

kulula concludes order for six Boeings

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th July 2015 Comair-operated low-cost South African airliner kulula.com is preparing to take delivery of the final two of six new Boeing 737-800 aircraft in August and October. With the 2009 order now completed, the end of 2015 would see the more environment-friendly new fleet take to the skies more... 

Nedbank to finance R2.1bn deal for four new Comair aircraft

By: Natasha Odendaal     30th June 2015 Banking giant Nedbank announced on Tuesday that it would provide a R2.1-billion boost for airliner Comair’s ongoing fleet upgrade programme over the next year. The bank would finance the next four Boeing 737-800 aircraft set for delivery in tranches from August to October this year, and February... 

Comair: It was never our aim to ground SAA

By: News24Wire      1st June 2015 The application to challenge the R5-billion government guarantee for South African Airways (SAA) in 2012 was not an attempt to shut down or privatise the airline, Comair said on Monday. Comair CEO Erik Venter said on Monday that the action taken by JSE-listed Comair was not a challenge to stop... 

Constitution supports SAA bailout, court hears

By: News24Wire      8th May 2015 The decision to grant SA Airways an extension of a government guarantee was supported by the Constitution, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Thursday. Jeremy Gauntlett, for the minsters of finance and public enterprises, told the court that the decision to extend the loan guarantee was a... 

Comair action on SAA bailouts in court this week 

By: News24Wire      4th May 2015 Private airline Comair’s legal action against government bailouts for South African Airways (SAA) is set down for three days in the Pretoria High Court starting on Tuesday. Comair brought the challenge in February 2013‚ “following the then-latest government bailout of R5-billion in 2012”‚ said a... 

Airline boss expresses concern about new draft national civil airlift strategy

By: Keith Campbell     20th March 2015 Comair CEO Erik Venter has expressed concern about South Africa’s draft 2015 to 2020 “Airlift Strategy”, which covers commercial aviation. (Comair is the country’s largest private-sector airline group.) This draft follows on from the 2006 to 2011 Airlift Strategy, which had the mission of... 

Grounds for concern in new draft national commercial aviation strategy 

By: Keith Campbell     6th March 2015 Comair CEO Erik Venter has expressed concern about South Africa’s draft 2015 to 2020 Airlift Strategy, which covers commercial aviation. (Comair is the country’s largest private-sector airline group.) This draft follows on from the 2006 to 2011 Airlift Strategy, which had the mission of... 

Income tax hike most efficient means of revenue raising – Davis 

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th February 2015 While the new tax introductions and hiked levies outlined in Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s inaugural budget speech this week were likely to hit consumers hard, it was deemed the most efficient option for government to narrow its fiscal gap without hurting South Africa’s fragile economy, Judge... 

Sarens performs first Boeing 737-300 lift in South Africa

By: Anine Kilian     20th February 2015 Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim has offered an arithmetical and philosophical case for government turning to value added tax (VAT) to bolster revenues in the current context of weak growth and an increasing necessity for fiscal tightening. While acknowledging that raising VAT will be... 

Sarens performs first Boeing 737-300 lift in South Africa.

     9th February 2015 Sarens South Africa has performed a lift of a Boeing 737-300 across the R21 highway in Kempton Park. The operation was carried out for the South African aviation company Comair, who is building a training center in which the Boeing 737-300 will be used as a real-life evacuation trainer. Being an... 

Comair cabin crew to strike over salaries

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     26th January 2015 A strike is looming at commercial airline Comair, affiliate of Kulula and British Airways airlines, after salary negotiations with its cabin crew failed. Negotiations between Solidarity and Comair started in September 2014, and, in December, the union referred a dispute to the Commission for... 

African aviation industry yearning for consolidation, says Comair CEO

By: Natalie Greve     2nd October 2014 Africa’s aviation industry will do well to follow the example of the US and the European Union by consolidating its airline capacity, pushing for a regional and continental air traffic control body and intensifying bilateral air traffic agreements, privately-owned carrier Comair CEO Eric Venter... 

Comair FY revenue, HEPS rise

     9th September 2014 JSE-listed domestic airline operator Comair on Tuesday reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 57.8c for the financial year ended June 30, up 20.6% on the HEPS of 47.9c recorded the year before. Revenue grew 17% to R6.28-billion, compared with R5.38-billion in the 2013 financial year,... 

Latest-generation airliners ordered by SA-listed airline group

By: Keith Campbell     4th April 2014 South African airline group Comair has ordered eight future generation Boeing 737MAX airliners, for delivery in the period 2019/2021, and has taken options on eight more. The eight aircraft are worth $830-million, but the South African company, which operates two brands (British Airways in... 

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