Comair announced a 95% increase in attributable earnings to R52,2m for the half-year ended December 31 2006.
This is despite a high fuel prices that added R60m to operating costs. Headline earnings per share were up 96% to 13c compared to 6cin the same period the previous year.
Turnover was up 16% to R1,1bn due to growth in passenger volumes and occupancy levels.
The replacement of some of the fleet also improved operating efficiencies. Comair plans to upgrade three more aircrafts this year.
Joint CEO Erik Venter said that there may be some relief on the fuel price for the second half of the year, however these gains may be negated by downward pressure on ticket prices due to the launch of Mango, which he says has increased capacity in an already overtraded domestic market.
“We will continue to debate with, and challenge government on the subject of the need for loss-making state owned airline’s in the domestic market, however know that our key to overcoming the industry challenges remains our drive to improve operating efficiencies through our fleet replacement programme, increasing our potential for revenue growth and naturally, our focus on consistently delivering the highest levels of service to our customers,” he said.
On Sunday, Mango released a statement saying that after three months of shaking up the aviation industry, the airline celebrates a winning hand of achievements.
The company said that it had sold in excess of 500 000 tickets, and more than half this number of passenger had already flown on the airline.
Mango says that it was an over achiever during its first few months of operation beating records that its competitors had set.
“Mango took only six days to reach 10 000 guests travelled, this measured against a competitor’s record 20 days to achieve the same. On its 35 th day of flight, Mango welcomed the 100 000th guest on board, compared to a competitor’s achievements of 122 days,” the airline said.
Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said that the airline is exploring growth opportunities both in terms of routes and fleet.
He said that the airline’s load factors had averaged above 75%.
The third no frills airline, 1time said that it would be increasing its capacity as well.
The airline said that it would be adding new routes and increasing flights on its current flight schedule.
The airline said that it would be adding a route between Cape Town and Durban and weekend flights between Johannesburg and George.
In addition to the new routes 1time will be increasing frequency by adding a third weekly flight on a Thursday between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. The Johannesburg – Durban route will also see an increase of up to seven flights a day and Johannesburg – Cape Town will see an increase of up to eight flights a day.
“The new service between Durban and Cape Town is the third and final link in the golden triangle and we believe there’s great potential to grow the market on this route. The new service between Johannesburg and George has been introduced due to popular demand and also due to the huge increase in fares by our competitors in the last six months. We also look forward to increasing the George service on a seasonal basis where there is sufficient demand,” said Rodney James, marketing director of 1time airline.
The new routes and additional frequencies will grow 1time’s available seats to 1,5M for the year and flights will increase to 222 a week.
1time will be operating a fleet of five 157 seater MD82/3 and two 110 seater DC9-32 aircrafts. A sixth MD80 has been ordered for delivery in May 2007.