Comair to seek financial support following extended flight suspension

Shutterstock/LO Kin-hei

South Africa-based operator Comair has reextended the suspension of its scheduled flights for Kulula.com and British Airways to August 31, 2021. The decision comes after the government of South Africa extended for two weeks its adjusted level 4 lockdown on July 11, 2021.

The initial announcement of the adjusted level 4 lockdown in South Africa was made on June 27, 2021, by the country‘s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, who stated that an assessment of the situation would be carried out after a 14-day period. Following the announcement, airlines and operators such as Comair and Lift suspended flight operations from July 5, 2021.

Following the second national address on July 11, 2021, at which the new two-week extension to the lockdown was announced, Comair has decided to extend the suspension of its flight operations for Kulula.com and British Airways as well as seek additional financial support due to its crippled revenue generation from the grounding.

According to a statement released by Comair, the decision was taken “in the interest of the well-being of its employees and customers“.

“Without Government engagement with or support for the aviation sector and associated services, the ability to plan constructively for a meaningful service beyond 30 July 2021 is exceptionally challenging. Taking the potential variables into consideration, Comair plans to resume scheduled operations on Wednesday 1 September 2021,“ wrote the airline.

“This decision was not made lightly, as it has a significant impact on both our customers and our employees,“ said Comair CEO Glenn Orsmond, addressing Comair’s customers.“However, under the circumstances, we believe it is the correct course of action to ensure the health and wellbeing of our customers and employees. We empathize with Government’s unenviable position with regards to balancing the health of the nation and the suffering economy.“

Kulula.com tickets issued between June 28, 2021, to August 31, 2021, will remain valid for 12 months until August 31, 2022. No change of booking fee or fare difference will be charged.

Additional reports have revealed that Comair has approached its shareholders to seek financial support to stave off calamity from the extended lockdown. Comair’s executive management will soon present a proposal to the airline’s administrators and to the Comair Rescue Consortium (CRC) which is composed of former Comair directors and executives, according to ch-aviation.

Until the management’s proposal, Comair’s administrators have set in place measures to protect the company’s financial state.

 

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