Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
2 minute read
1 Jun 2022
5:24 pm

Competition Commission meeting with other airlines over Comair grounding flights

Faizel Patel

Comair on Tuesday night announced that all British Airways and Kulula flights will be suspended from Wednesday 1 June until further notice as it tries to secure further funding.

The Comair desks that usually host Kulula and British Airways flights closed at OR Tambo International Airport, 1 June 2022.. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen

With Comair grounding all Kulula and British Airways flights due to a lack of funding, the demand for local flights is increasing with ticket prices expected to rise.

Comair on Tuesday night announced that all British Airways and Kulula flights will be suspended from Wednesday 1 June until further notice as it tries to secure further funding.

The airline said its Business Rescue Practitioners (BRP) are trying to raise the necessary capital.

“Once received, the airline will be able to recommence operations, but regrettably under these circumstances, the practitioners have no choice but to voluntarily suspend all scheduled flights until the funding is confirmed.”

ALSO READ: Comair suspends British Airways & Kulula flights until further notice

The Competition Commission said it has taken note of Comair’s decision and will be engaging other airlines.

“The Competition Commission is currently meeting with the leadership of the competing airlines to engage them on the implications of Comair’s decision to suspend British Airways and Kulula flights.”

Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has expressed concern following the grounding of all Comair flights, saying it would have a negative effect on domestic tourism.

Comair is responsible for up to 40% of the country’s aviation capacity.

“This comes at a bad time as families are preparing for school holidays and some international holidaymakers are preparing to spend their summer holidays in South Africa,” said Sisulu.

According to Sisulu, domestic travel contributed positively to demand in the Covid-19 period, driven by campaigns and pricing targetted at the local market.

“This was positive and helped create better understanding within the market and through this exposure propelled the market to diversify its offerings.”

Comair has faced a series of setbacks recently.

The SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) imposed a precautionary suspension of Comair’s Aircraft Operating Certificate (AOC) in March for five days after what it called “a series of incidents”, including issues with the landing gear indicator on one of the flights.

ALSO READ: Sisulu worried Comair’s grounded flights will hurt domestic tourism