Comair (South Africa)

Comair
IATA ICAO Callsign
MN CAW COMAIR
Founded 1943 (as Commercial Air Services)
Hubs OR Tambo International Airport
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program Executive Club/Avios (when operating for British Airways)
Alliance Oneworld (when operating for British Airways)
Subsidiaries kulula.com
Fleet size 28
Destinations 11
Traded as JSE: COM
Headquarters Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa
Key people CEO: Erik Venter
Revenue ZAR 6.06 billion (2017)
Profit ZAR 435 million (2017)
Website comair.co.za

Comair Limited is an airline based in South Africa that operates scheduled services on domestic routes as a British Airways franchisee (and an affiliate member of the Oneworld airline alliance). It also operates as a low-cost carrier under its own kulula.com brand. Its main base is OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, and has focus cities at Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport. Its headquarters are near OR Tambo in the Bonaero Park area of Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng.[1]

History

Comair General Aviation Holdings was formed by the Novick and Moritz families on 17 December 1943 as Commercial Air Services. The company began charter operations on 15 June 1946 using Fairchild F-24/UC-61K Argus Mk III aircraft.[2] Scheduled services between Rand Airport, Johannesburg and Durban began on 1 July 1948, using a Cessna 195.[3]

In 1978, Donald (Dave) Novick negotiated a management buyout of Comair's aviation assets.[4] A lengthy legal battle ensued between Novick and the Pickard Group. On 5 June 1978, Justice George Colman rendered a 291-page document in favour of Novick. In doing so, Colman established twelve precedents in South African corporate law; the litigation is now considered to be a landmark case.

When Novick joined Comair in 1961, the company had some 50 employees and operated two Douglas DC-3 aircraft. Under his direction, the company expanded its fleet into jet aircraft after the de-regulation of South African airline routes in 1991, and today} Comair operates 24 Boeing 737 aircraft with almost 2 000 staff.

Novick pioneered a strong relationship with British Airways plc and a partnership through a franchise arrangement. British Airways later took a shareholding in Comair.

In 2001 kulula.com was established, by co-founders Gidon Novick and Erik Venter, as the first low-cost airline in South Africa. The airline has maintained its lead in this segment of the market, serving leisure business customers. In March 2014, Comair announced a R9bn order for eight Boeing 737 MAX 8s. The aircraft are due to be delivered from 2019 to 2022.[5]

As part of a R3.5-billion[6] investment in fleet upgrade, Comair ordered eight Boeing 737-800s to update its fleet in 2013.[7]

The government of the British Overseas Territories Saint Helena and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) announced in March 2015 that it had reached agreement with Comair for the provision of weekly air services from Johannesburg, to commence in 2016, when the Atlantic island's airport opens for revenue service.[8]

In August 2016, Imperial Air Cargo, a cargo airline in which Comair owns 30%, started operations.

Corporate affairs

The key trends for the Comair group (which includes activities under the British Airways and kulula.com brands) are shown below, as at years ending 30 June:

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Turnover (R m) 1,973 2,212 2,688 3,049 3,010 3,588 4,163 5,387 5,903 5,891 5,960 6,064
Profits before tax (EBT) (R m) 116 157 103 114 124 106 11 331 374 301 295 435
Profits after tax (R m) 219 193 297
Number of employees 1,736 1,559 1,781 1,782 1,941 1,953 1,853 1,912 2,026 2,088 2,100 2,121
Number of aircraft (at year end) 24 23 23 23 25 24 24 27 26 25 25 26
Notes/sources [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

Destinations

British Airways franchisee

Comair offer flights to and from the following destinations, operating under the British Airways brand:[21]

Mauritius
Namibia
South Africa
Zambia
Zimbabwe

kulula.com

Comair offer flights to and from the following destinations, operating under the kulula.com brand:[21]

South Africa

Codeshare agreements

Comair codeshares with the following airlines:[22]

Fleet

The Comair fleet includes the following aircraft operated as British Airways franchise as of February 2018:[23]

Comair Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers[24] Notes
C Y Total
Boeing 737-400 7 18 126 144
Boeing 737-800 9 24 138 162
Boeing 737 MAX 8 8[25] TBA to be delivered from 2019[5]
Total 16 8

Incidents and accidents

  • On 12 October 1982, Douglas C-47A ZS-EJK was written off when it crashed into a mountain near Graskop,[26] 36 nautical miles (67 km) from Hoedspruit when attempting to divert to that airport. The weather was instrument meteorological conditions. All 30 people on board survived.[27]
  • On 1 March 1988, Comair Flight 206, an Embraer 110 Bandeirante, crashed in Johannesburg, killing all 17 occupants.[28][29] One source suggests that this incident was caused by an explosive device, carried by a passenger employed as a mineworker who had recently taken out a substantial insurance policy.[29]

See also

References

  1. "Contact Us Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.." Comair. Retrieved 30 September 2009. "Comair Limited Physical address: Cnr Atlas Road and Marignane Drive Bonaero Park 1619 South Africa"
  2. Van Dyke, Capt Donald L (2008). Fortune Favours the Bold: An African Aviation Odyssey. Xlibris. pp. 52, 70. ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0.
  3. Van Dyke, Capt Donald L (2008). Fortune Favours the Bold: An African Aviation Odyssey. Xlibris. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0.
  4. Hahlo's South African Company Law Through the Cases: A Source Book : a Collection of Cases on Company Law, with Explanatory Notes and Comments.
  5. 1 2 "Does Comair have eyes on Africa expansion?". News24. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  6. "Comair – British Airways (operated by Comair) celebrates first of its new fleet". comair.co.za. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  8. ""
  9. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2006" (PDF). 12 September 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  10. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2007" (PDF). 10 September 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  11. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2008" (PDF). 15 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  12. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2009" (PDF). 14 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  13. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2010" (PDF). 13 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  14. "Comair Limited Integrated Annual Report 2011" (PDF). 12 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  15. "Comair Limited Integrated Annual Report 2012" (PDF). 11 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  16. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2013" (PDF).
  17. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2014" (PDF).
  18. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2015" (PDF).
  19. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2016" (PDF). 13 September 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  20. "Comair Limited Annual Report 2017" (PDF). 11 September 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  21. 1 2 "Route Network". Comair. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  22. "Profile on Comair (South Africa)". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-10-29. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  23. https://www.planespotters.net/airline/Comair
  24. http://avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56880 Comair Aircraft configurations
  25. http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2014-03-19-Boeing-and-South-Africas-Comair-Limited-Announce-Order-for-Eight-737-MAXs
  26. "C/N 19484". The Dakota Association of South Africa. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  27. "ZS-EJK Accident report". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  28. "Accident Synopsis » 03011988," Airdisaster.com
  29. 1 2 Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante ZS-LGP Germiston, c. 13 km SW of Johannesburg International Airport (JNB'". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 31 August 2017.

Further reading

  • Van Dyke, Capt Donald L. 'Fortune Favours the Bold: An African Aviation Odyssey. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0.

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