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.
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.