Comair (South Africa)

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Comair
Comair.jpg
IATA
MN
ICAO
CAW
Callsign
COMAIR
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
SLOW Lounge
Alliance Oneworld (Affiliate member)
Subsidiaries kulula.com
Fleet size 17 + 4 Orders
Destinations 10
Parent company British Airways
International Airlines Group
Headquarters Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa
Key people CEO: Erik Venter
Revenue Increase ZAR 5.38billion (2013) [1]
Profit Increase ZAR 231million (2013)[1]
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) 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.[2]

History[edit]

Comair Douglas DC-3 in 1973 at Skukuza.

The airline was founded by World War II South African Air Force (SAAF) colleagues AC Joubert, JMS Martin, L Zimmerman and JDW Human and incorporated 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.[3] Scheduled services between Rand Airport, Johannesburg and Durban began on 1 July 1948, using a Cessna Model 195.[4]

The airline grew over the next decades, to the point where it was able to start service on major domestic routes in 1992, using Boeing 737-200 aircraft. In addition to domestic flights to destinations such as Cape Town and Durban, it also offered a few international flights in Southern Africa, e.g. to Gaborone and Harare.

A franchise agreement with British Airways was signed in 1996 and in early 2000 British Airways acquired a minority holding. It was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in July 1998. The airline is owned by the management (25%), institutions and public (52%), International Airlines Group/British Airways (18%) and employees (5%) and has 1,447 employees (at March 2007).[5]

In 2001, Comair set up kulula.com as a low-cost airline and a wholly owned brand of Comair.

On 6 September 2007, Comair extended its franchise agreement with British Airways for a further 11 years.[6]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Business trends[edit]

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:

2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
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
Notes/sources [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]

Destinations[edit]

Comair 737-400 ZS-OTF in British Airways livery

Comair offer flights to and from the following destinations, operating under the British Airways brand:[17]

 Mauritius

 Mozambique

 Namibia

 South Africa

Comair Routes Within South Africa

 Zambia

 Zimbabwe

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Comair/British Airways has codeshare agreement with the following airlines.

Fleet[edit]

Comair 737-300 ZS-OKI in British Airways livery

The Comair fleet includes the following aircraft in British Airways livery with an average age of 24.1 years as of 17 December 2013:[18]

Comair/British Airways Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers[19] Notes
C Y Total
Boeing 737-300 7 1 12 106 118
Boeing 737-400 9 18 126 144
Boeing 737-800 1 4[20] 20 138 158 Orders due in 2015
Boeing 737 MAX 8 0 8[21] TBA Orders due from 2019 to 2022 [22]
Total 17 13

Fleet orders[edit]

As part of a R3.5-billion[23] investment in fleet upgrade, Comair has ordered eight Boeing 737-800 Next-Generation to update their fleet. The airplanes are valued at approximately $646 million at current list prices and will come complete with Boeing Sky Interior.[24]

Comair took delivery of its Boeing 737-8LDs on the following days:

In March 2014, Comair announced a R9bn order for eight Boeing 737 MAX 8s. The planes are due to be delivered from 2019 to 2022. [29]

Imperial Air Cargo[edit]

Main article: Imperial Air Cargo

The airline started operations on 1 August 2006. Comair owns 30%.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • On 12 October 1982, Douglas C-47A ZS-EJK was written off when it crashed into a mountain near Graskop,[30] 36 nautical miles (67 km) from Hoedspruit when attempting to divert to that airport. The weather was IMC. All 30 people on board survived.[31]
  • On 1 March 1988, Comair Flight 206, an Embraer 110 Bandeirante, crashed in Johannesburg, killing all 17 occupants.[32][33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.theafricanaviationtribune.com/2013/09/south-africa-comair-ltd-profits-soar-to.html
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Comair. Retrieved on 30 September 2009. "Comair Limited Physical address: Cnr Atlas Road and Marignane Drive Bonaero Park 1619 South Africa"
  3. ^ Van Dyke, Capt Donald L (2008). Fortune Favours the Bold: An African Aviation Odyssey. Xlibris. pp. 52, 70. ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0. 
  4. ^ Van Dyke, Capt Donald L (2008). Fortune Favours the Bold: An African Aviation Odyssey. Xlibris. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-4363-9314-0. 
  5. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 67. 
  6. ^ "business news Comair to stay with British Airways". business.iafrica.com. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  7. ^ "Comair Limited Annual Report 2004". 6 September 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Comair Limited Annual Report 2005". 5 September 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "Comair Limited Annual Report 2006". 12 September 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Comair Limited Annual Report 2007". 10 September 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  11. ^ "Comair Limited Annual Report 2008". 15 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Comair Limited Annual Report 2009". 14 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Comair Limited Annual Report 2010". 13 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Comair Limited Integrated Annual Report 2011". 12 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Comair Limited Integrated Annual Report 2012". 11 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Comair Limited Annual Report 2013". 
  17. ^ http://www.kulula.com/flights/routes-and-schedules/routes
  18. ^ http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/Comair
  19. ^ http://avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56880 Comair Aircraft configurations
  20. ^ http://www.centreforaviation.com/analysis/comair-net-profit-up-but-external-factors-make-for-a-cautious-outlook-63546
  21. ^ http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2014-03-19-Boeing-and-South-Africas-Comair-Limited-Announce-Order-for-Eight-737-MAXs
  22. ^ http://www.news24.com/Travel/Flights/Does-Comair-have-eyes-on-Africa-expansion-20140319
  23. ^ http://www.comair.co.za/media-room/media-statements/british-airways-operated-by-comair-celebrates-first-of-its-new-fleet
  24. ^ http://www.aviationcentral.co.za/airlines/190
  25. ^ ZS-ZWA
  26. ^ ZS-ZWB
  27. ^ ZS-ZWC
  28. ^ ZS-ZWS
  29. ^ http://www.news24.com/Travel/Flights/Does-Comair-have-eyes-on-Africa-expansion-20140319
  30. ^ "C/N 19484". The Dakota Association of South Africa. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  31. ^ "ZS-EJK Accident report". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  32. ^ "Accident Synopsis » 03011988," Airdisaster.com
  33. ^ Comair Flight 206 accident

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]