BA franchisee Comair – License Suspended

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Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)

  • SimonS1
    Participant

    Safety issues, financial problems, doesn’t sound good.

    Not so many years ago I thought Safair were a bit part operator but it looks they are well placed to clean up.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    ASL Group own Safair which they started in 2014 they area a large low cost airline and airline services group based out of Dublin Ireland
    Safair run a fleet of elderly much used B737 -200 and 800 aircraft and they are indeed cheap.

    The group is substantial and owns airlines in several countries. Some of these are in what we used to call Eastern Europe. They have a wet lease (and possibly also dry) aircraft operation and have contracts with DHL, Air Hong Kong (with A300 aircraft) and several other large operators.
    To describe their operation as shadowy is perhaps to overstate but they are a very much a nimble below the line business with fingers in many aviation pies.

    The SA business has grown fast and taken advantage of the troubles being experienced by their larger African based competitors. Personally I would not fly with Safair – they are cheap for a reason and cheap in an African airlines context is in my opinion dangerous.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Yep. Average age 22+ years is well above what you would find at most airlines (with quite a few aircraft in the 30+ bracket).

    The aviation business in SA is in a real mess. SA Express gone, SAA decimated, Comair on the ropes. Not a great situation for travellers. Airlink looks the pick of the bunch right now.


    Senator
    Participant

    I flew BA Comair JNB-CPT-JNB back in May in Club using Avios redemption. Four travellers for 100,000 Avios plus £30 in total for all four is a great use of Avios. It was the old B737-400s that reminded me of the old Club Europe days when I started flying BA around 2001-02. The whole experience as much like I remembered pre-Covid. Excellent lounge: SLOW both at JNB and CPT. Decent onboard F&B and good service like I remembered.

    However, these relics were in bad shape. Another issue was cancellations and changes taking place as late as a week before departure. We were connecting to and from Swiss International in First, which made for some nervous days ahead of travel. Were they going to fly?

    I’ve always preferred the BA Comair option to SAA for domestic travel in South Africa. But I hope they both recover and prosper.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Oceanair
    Participant

    Comair fails to get money, business rescue practitioners apply for liquidation
    news24 reporting

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Looks like it’s all over for Comair and Kulula.

    https://simpleflying.com/comair-no-reasonable-rescue-prospect/


    Stowage222
    Participant

    Looks you’re right Simon – pity. Like many of us who have travelled throughout southern Africa ‘in the day’, Comair was a reasonably good option for getting around the region.

    I recall flying into JNB from London on a B747 in the 1990’s with the dreaded ‘Maggie’s tail fin design’, just as BA were about to change this ‘mistake’. I was somewhat surprised to see that a Comair B727 and B737-200 had already been converted to the new design.

    727jbg


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I doubt that it is over for Comair who have been flying in SA since 1946
    White knight unlikely- local funding perhaps from big business and/or the very affluent local business community or a major airline brand . Virgin ?

    There is a huge opportunity in SA and regional for a well funded mid level airline to immerge and I would be extremely surprised if this does not happen.
    Virgin AU is a possible model.


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Perhaps SAA will once more become a serious player in the SA airline business.

    The result of the SA Competition Commission investigation is due in a couple of weeks and could signal a 3 billion Rand investment in the airline.

    If approved this could be the stabilising force that the SA industry desperately needs although what is published is still very ‘cloudy’ on detail.

    The below from fin 24

    ‘The South African Airways’ strategic equity partner Takatso Consortium has made a merger application to the Competition Commission to approve the deal on an urgent basis by no later than 8 July 2022.

    Getting Competition Commission approval is one of the outstanding steps needed to conclude the deal, which was first announced almost a year ago.

    The application comes as critics continue to question what they regard as a lack of transparency surrounding the specifics of the deal. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has, however, told Parliament in the past that details not provided will protect SAA’s competitiveness.

    What is known is that Takatso will acquire 51% of SAA’s shares and would need to put in about R3 billion in working capital into the airline over a period of two years.

    According to the Competition Commission application document, which Fin24 has seen, Takatso submits that the deal will be pro-competitive because it will keep a key competitor, namely SAA, in the market “sustainably”. Takatso denies that the proposed transaction will have a negative impact on competition in the aviation sector.
    Takatso also submits that there are no horizontal overlaps between the activities of the consortium’s majority partner, Harith General Partners, and its portfolio companies; and those of SAA.

    It adds that SAA’s market shares are low currently. This, coupled with the fact that Takatso and Harith General Partners do not operate an airline, means the merger will not result in a meaningful change in market structure in South Africa and rather prevent the lessening of competition, according to the consortium.

    However, much of the detail of the deal and related structures named in the application document is marked as confidential.

    Information not provided, due to claims of confidentiality, include details of the memorandum of understanding between SAA and Takatso, the names and principal addresses of all the firms directly or indirectly controlling Harith, and the firms Harith controls directly or indirectly. Harith’s turnover for the financial year ended 31 March 2021, as well as the value of its assets, are also marked as confidential, as well as information on producers or providers to the company. SAA’s turnover is marked as confidential, as well as who its top corporate customers are.’


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    The SA business has grown fast and taken advantage of the troubles being experienced by their larger African based competitors. Personally I would not fly with Safair – they are cheap for a reason and cheap in an African airlines context is in my opinion dangerous.

    While I agree Safairs aircraft are rather old, they are well maintained and I, my family and many friends fly them regularly. What i like is being able to pay to keep the middle seat free for R.750 or about £ 37 for a two hour journey is not bad at all, and that they allow 2 x 23kgs baggage in line with most European carriers and not 20kgs as was the case with Kulula.

    There is a huge opportunity in SA and regional for a well funded mid level airline to immerge and I would be extremely surprised if this does not happen.

    SA has it, also with Airlink and Cemair.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    Its good to understand that Safair are literally ‘doing the business’ and that PL finds them to be decent.

    I did a little more more digging into the ownership of ASL and I found that there is a parent of the group -a long standing will established and regarded Dutch company with a background in shipping dating back over a century. I feel that I may have been a little harsh in my earlier comments.

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