Comair, South Africa‘s oldest airline is in liquidation after its bankruptcy lawyers allegedly filed an application. Comair will stop operations permanently after the company failed to secure funding to remain airborne. Allegedly, Comair was severely impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions.

Comair, which also operates Kulula, entered into business rescue over two years ago. The company has a franchise settlement to function British Airways flights in South Africa.

“We did our utmost to secure the funding, but when we were unable to do so had no option to lodge the application,” said Richard Ferguson, the company’s business rescue practitioner, a category of lawyer hired as administrators to save a company from liquidation.

“It is an extremely sad day for the company, its employees, its customers and South African aviation.”

Operations come to a halt for Comair

In a statement, the National Union of Metalworks of South Africa shared thoughts: “They feel betrayed because they fought with all they had to keep the airline in the sky. For more than two years, they were not paid their salaries in full because they were told this would ensure the airline’s survival. Comair was founded in 1943. It is a viable business which has over 40 percent share of the aviation market. It is facing collapse simply because it was mismanaged by Richard Ferguson, the BRP and the CEO Glenn Orsmond”

Comair says that the red-listing of South Africa during the pandemic was one of the main causes for the permanent grounding. Additionally, Comair cited high fuel prices and the temporary suspension of its license by civil aviation.

With Comair, South Africa’s oldest airline in liquidation, fliers who have tickets through British Airways are protected through the franchisor. Comair will allow the company’s employees and customers with bookings or pending refunds to become creditors of the airline.