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SAA and British Airways are negotiating over Comair franchise routes

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South African Airways (SAA), the country’s national airline, is in discussions with British Airways (BA) about possibly taking over a franchise from the now-defunct Comair.

In an interview with News24 on September 2, 2022, SAA Chief Executive John Lamola announced that the Johannesburg-based carrier has expressed interest in taking over Comair’s former contract with BA to operate domestic and regional flights to various South African cities.

In 1996, Comair, a 1946-founded South African aviation and travel company, signed a franchise deal with British Airways. According to the deal, Comair would operate local and regional routes while sporting the British Airways livery.

The British airline with headquarters in London ended its relationship with the defunct low-cost carrier Comair in June 2022 after it was forced into insolvency for failing to address the financial instability brought on by the epidemic.

Comair, which controlled almost 40% of South Africa’s domestic aviation industry, voluntarily initiated corporate rescue proceedings on May 5, 2020, in an effort to stay afloat. On May 31, 2022, the airline’s doors were forced to close because the company could not be rescued.

British Airways hasn’t yet made any official remarks regarding the situation in the public.

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