Comair NUMSA

Comair Limited flights have been permanently grounded.
Photo: Twitter/Newzroom Afrika

‘An extremely sad day for us’: Comair to be liquidated and British Airways flights have been permanently grounded. Comair which operates them has filed for liquidation.

Comair NUMSA

Comair Limited flights have been permanently grounded.
Photo: Twitter/Newzroom Afrika

Comair Limited’s business rescue practitioners say they did their utmost best to secure funding required capital for the airline to recommence operations. 

On Thursday, Comair lodged a court application to convert the business rescue proceedings into liquidation proceedings. On 31 May 2022, the airline voluntarily grounded its flights citing cash constraints.


One of the Business Rescue Practitioners, Richard Ferguson said despite their best efforts they were unable to secure the capital required for the airline to recommence 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,” he explained.

Furthermore, Ferguson said 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. 

Comair has filed for liquidation. Photo: Supplied

Comair said although the amounts indicated by the business rescue plan were invested, they 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 operating Certificate 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.

“The BRPs ongoing requests to the CRC to provide a plan to raise the further funding necessary to absorb the balance of these and other future potential economic shocks were not successful. In the circumstances, the BRPs approached other lenders to raise the funding required. Regrettably when this funding could not be secured before the existing funding was exhausted, scheduled flight operations were suspended on 31 May 2022.” 


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.

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