Comair (South Africa)
|Founded||1943 (as Commercial Air Services)|
|Hubs||OR Tambo International Airport|
|Focus cities||Cape Town International Airport
King Shaka International Airport
|Frequent-flyer program||Executive Club|
|Airport lounge||Terraces Lounge
|Alliance||Oneworld (Affiliate member)|
|Parent company||British Airways
International Airlines Group
|Headquarters||Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa|
|Key people||CEO: Erik Venter|
|Revenue||ZAR 6.28billion (2014) |
|Profit||ZAR 265million (2014) |
Comair Limited, founded by the Novick and Moritz families 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) and also as a low-cost carrier under its own kulula.com brand. Its main base is OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, with 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.
Comair General Aviation Holdings was initially formed on the 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. Scheduled services between Rand Airport, Johannesburg and Durban began on 1 July 1948, using a Cessna Model 195.
In 1978 Mr Donald (Dave) Novick negotiated a management buyout of Comair's aviation assets. A lengthy legal battle ensued between, Mr Novick and the Pickard Group. On the 5th of June 1978, Mr Justice George Colman rendered a 291-page document in favor of Novick. In doing so, Mr 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.
Mr Novick pioneered a strong relationship with British Airways plc and a partnership through a franchise arrangement, which is highly valued by both British Airways and by Comair, as demonstrated by British Airways subsequently taking a shareholding in Comair.
In 2001 kulula.com was established, by co-founders Gidon Novick and Eric Venter, as the first low-cost airline in South Africa. The airline, over a period of 10 years has maintained its lead in this segment of the market, serving both leisure customers as well as the country’s business needs. Comair’s success during this period is particularly unique in that the airline has an unbroken 63 year profit history and an internationally recognised and enviable safety record.
The government of the British Overseas Territory 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.
The key trends for the Comair group (which includes activities under both the British Airways and kulula.com brands) are shown below, as at years ending 30 June:
|Turnover (R m)||1,475||1,714||1,973||2,212||2,688||3,049||3,010||3,588||4,163||5,387|
|Profits before tax (EBT) (R m)||−136||99||116||157||103||114||124||106||11||231|
|Number of employees||1,519||1,738||1,736||1,559||1,781||1,782||1,941||1,953||1,853||1,912|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||19||22||24||23||23||23||25||24||24||27|
- Cape Town - Cape Town International Airport focus city
- Durban - King Shaka International Airport focus city
- Johannesburg - OR Tambo International Airport Hub
- Port Elizabeth - Port Elizabeth Airport
- Saint Helena Airport - from 2016
Comair/British Airways has codeshare agreement with the following airlines.
The Comair fleet includes the following aircraft as of 31 January 2015:
|Boeing 737-800||2||4||20||138||158||Orders due in 2015|
|Boeing 737 MAX 8||0||8||TBA||Orders due from 2019 to 2022 |
Imperial Air Cargo
The airline started operations on 1 August 2006. Comair owns 30%.
Incidents and accidents
- On 12 October 1982, Douglas C-47A ZS-EJK was written off when it crashed into a mountain near Graskop, 36 nautical miles (67 km) from Hoedspruit when attempting to divert to that airport. The weather was IMC. All 30 people on board survived.
- On 1 March 1988, Comair Flight 206, an Embraer 110 Bandeirante, crashed in Johannesburg, killing all 17 occupants.
- "Contact Us." Comair. Retrieved on 30 September 2009. "Comair Limited Physical address: Cnr Atlas Road and Marignane Drive Bonaero Park 1619 South Africa"
- Van Dyke, Capt Donald L (2008). Fortune Favours the Bold: An African Aviation Odyssey. Xlibris. pp. 52, 70. ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0.
- Van Dyke, Capt Donald L (2008). Fortune Favours the Bold: An African Aviation Odyssey. Xlibris. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0.
- http://books.google.co.za/books?id=VoqwsEStA8sC&pg=PA315&lpg=PA315&dq=novick+vs+comair&source=bl&ots=XIxhQN1Ng3&sig=cILpZTaf-2cjVGtLoggUcVqo2CQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YvwHVO6LGIiN7Qbf0oHQBg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=novick%20vs%20comair&f=false. Missing or empty
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2004". 6 September 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2005". 5 September 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2006". 12 September 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2007". 10 September 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2008". 15 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2009". 14 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2010". 13 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Integrated Annual Report 2011". 12 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Integrated Annual Report 2012". 11 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2013".
- http://avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56880 Comair Aircraft configurations
- "C/N 19484". The Dakota Association of South Africa. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "ZS-EJK Accident report". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "Accident Synopsis » 03011988," Airdisaster.com
- Comair Flight 206 accident
- Van Dyke, Capt Donald L. 'Fortune Favours the Bold: An African Aviation Odyssey. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0.
- Media related to Comair Limited at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Fortune Favours the Bold: History of Comair (South Africa) ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0