British Airways will start flying in SA after a six months suspension
JOHANNESBURG - British Airways flights will start flying again next month in South Africa after a six months suspension as airline operator Comair Ltd reopened booking for its flights on Monday.
This follows the opening of new bookings for Comair’s low-cost carrier kulula.com earlier this month ahead of its planned take off again on 1 December.
Comair on Monday said that British Airways plans to begin serving all its domestic routes it previously operated.
However, regional services will be reintroduced as it ramps up to full operations over the next few months.
Rescue consortium representative Glenn Orsmond said Comair customers can now book either of its airline brands, with the option of booking in business class.
“With reservations for the British Airways’ flights open we’re now able to offer bookings on a considerably expanded schedule,” Orsmond said.
“British Airways’ ongoing support is a huge vote of confidence in the future of Comair.”
Orsmond reiterated that Comair will initially operate a fleet of 15 aircraft across both airline brands gradually increasing as the remainder of the fleet returns to service over the next few months.
The reintroduction of British Airways’ flights will also see the reopening of the popular SLOW lounges.
Initially the domestic lounges at King Shaka International, Cape Town International and OR Tambo International will open. The other lounges will reopen as the flight schedule expands.
Comair’s shares were suspended from trading at the JSE after the vast majority of its creditors and investors voted in favour of placing it under business rescue in May.
Last month, the Competition Commission approved with conditions the proposed bid by SA Bidco to merge with Comair as necessary for the airline to proceed.
The conditions include a commitment to allocate a portion of Comair’s shares to a B-BBEE structure and job offers to 200 retrenched staff when jobs become available at the new airline post-merger.
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) last week filed an urgent interdict at the Labour Court to prevent the rescue practitioners from continuing with the retrenchment process at the airline.
Comair plans to gradually return to service from December, with a seven-month ramp-up period until June 2021.
It is anticipated the business rescue process will be concluded by 31 March 2021, after which Comair will continue to operate as a sustainable business.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE