Comair suspends flights until funding secured

‘Once received the airline will be able to recommence operations.’

Comair, operator of IAG SA-owned British Airways trips in South Africa, grounded all flights after running out of funds and is awaiting further investment.

The carrier, which also runs the domestic low-cost airline Kulula, halted all ticket sales with immediate effect, according to a statement late Tuesday evening. The company’s administrators “believe the funding may be secured,” Comair said.

The suspension will reduce airline capacity in Africa’s most industrialised nation by 40%, and may lead to a repeat of the chaos that engulfed airports earlier this year when the nation’s regulator grounded Comair to address safety issues.

Read: Comair requires more funding

From tourists to businesses flying on the nation’s busiest route between Johannesburg and Cape Town — home to pristine beaches and companies such as Naspers Ltd — the suspension may also lead to higher prices.

Comair was placed into a form of bankruptcy protection, known as business rescue, during the Covid-19 crisis in 2020, which grounded much of the world’s aircraft fleet. While the company went on to secure a funding package and resume flights later that year, the need for capital has returned.

Comair operates a fleet of 26 Boeing Co jets, mostly 737-800s, according to the company’s website.

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