aviation

South Africa’s BA operator grounds flights as funds run out

June 2, 2022

Comair, the South African operator of British Airways flights, has grounded all of its planes after running out of cash, the company said.

The carrier, which is under administration, also operates budget airline Kulula. Those planes are also grounded, with ticket sales for both airlines suspended.

Comair’s administrators “have advised that the process to raise the necessary capital is in progress and that there is reason to believe such funding may be secured,” the company said in the statement late Tuesday.

“Once received, the airline will be able to recommence operations, but regrettably under these circumstances, the practitioners have no choice but to voluntarily suspend all scheduled flights until the funding is confirmed,” it added.

In May 2020, at the height of pandemic lockdowns, Comair filed for voluntary business rescue — a procedure similar to bankruptcy protection — in order to restructure the company.

By February this year, the company had regained a 40 percent market share and resumed most flights.

South African aviation officials had suspended Comair’s flights for five days in March over safety concerns, dealing a new blow to the company.

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