Comair (South Africa)
|Founded||1943 (as Commercial Air Services)|
|Hubs||OR Tambo International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Executive Club|
|Traded as||JSE: COM|
|Headquarters||Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa|
|Key people||CEO: Erik Venter|
|Revenue||ZAR 6.28 billion (2014)|
|Profit||ZAR 265 million (2014)|
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.
Comair General Aviation Holdings was formed by the Novick and Moritz families 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 195.
In 1978, Donald (Dave) Novick negotiated a management buyout of Comair's aviation assets. 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[when?]} 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.
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.
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:
|Turnover (R m)||1,475||1,714||1,973||2,212||2,688||3,049||3,010||3,588||4,163||5,387||5,903||5,891|
|Profits before tax (EBT) (R m)||−136||99||116||157||103||114||124||106||11||331||374||301|
|Number of employees||1,519||1,738||1,736||1,559||1,781||1,782||1,941||1,953||1,853||1,912||2,026||2,088|
|Number of aircraft (at year end)||19||22||24||23||23||23||25||24||24||27||26||25|
Comair offer flights to and from the following destinations, operating under the British Airways brand:
- 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
|Boeing 737 MAX 8||—||8||TBA||to be delivered from 2019|
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 instrument meteorological conditions. All 30 people on board survived.
- On 1 March 1988, Comair Flight 206, an Embraer 110 Bandeirante, crashed in Johannesburg, killing all 17 occupants. 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. 
- "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.
- Hahlo's South African Company Law Through the Cases: A Source Book : a Collection of Cases on Company Law, with Explanatory Notes and Comments.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2004" (PDF). 6 September 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2005" (PDF). 5 September 2005. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2006" (PDF). 12 September 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2007" (PDF). 10 September 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2008" (PDF). 15 September 2008. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2009" (PDF). 14 September 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2010" (PDF). 13 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Integrated Annual Report 2011" (PDF). 12 September 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Integrated Annual Report 2012" (PDF). 11 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2013" (PDF).
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2014" (PDF).
- "Comair Limited Annual Report 2015" (PDF).
- "Profile on Comair (South Africa)". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-10-29. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
- 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