Weeks ago Comair voluntarily suspended all British Airways and Kulula flights due to funding issues. The airline operator has now announced that it had applied for liquidation putting over 1000 jobs at risk.
In a statement, the company says they were unable to secure the capital required for the airline to resume operations.
“We did our utmost to secure the funding, but when we were unable to do so had no option to lodge the application. It is an extremely sad day for the company, its employees, its customers and South African aviation.”
Customers will be concurrent creditors, which means customers due refunds will only receive payment if there are funds left after paying costs and preferential creditors. However, there are various ways that customers can obtain a refund depending on the airline and depending on how they booked their flights.
After entering business rescue, Comair was able to start flying again when the Comair Rescue Consortium (CRC) invested R500m for a 99% share of the equity in the company at the time.
Although the amounts indicated by the business rescue plan were invested, the Company unfortunately faced unforeseen headwinds including three further COVID-related air travel lockdowns inter alia the “Red Listing” of South Africa by certain European countries, notably the United Kingdom, the suspension of the Company’s AOC in March 2022 by the regulator as well as significantly high fuel prices experienced in the past five months. Each of these events had a material negative impact on the business. The CRC were only able to finance the impact of these events up to a certain point.
Comair’s BRPs continued the process to secure additional funding from other sources but despite several parties expressing interest, they were unable to secure sufficient substantive commitment.
Ferguson said that the company’s employees and customers who held bookings or were owed refunds will now become creditors of the Company.
This means customers due refunds will only receive payment if there are funds left after paying costs and creditors. Customers can get a refund depending on the airline they booked.
Customers who booked during the “winter sale” special on May 30 will be fully refunded. Other Kulula customers will become concurrent creditors.
Customers need to email MNContactCentre@comair.co.za for information.
British Airways customers:
– If you are due to travel up to and including June 14, you can obtain a refund via Manage my Booking, or call British Airways to discuss rebooking options.
– If you are due to travel from June 15 onwards, you can obtain a refund via Manage my Booking.
– If you have a booking with Comair and you booked through a travel agent, you will need to contact them directly regarding refunds.