Comair delays new services from Lanseria airport

South Africa's Comair has announced it will launch operations from Lanseria to Gaborone and Maputo, once it had received a commitment from Lanseria International Airport. The carrier, which operates British Airways flights in South Africa and low-cost carrier Kulula, was due to launch the services on 30-May-2011, but had stood down from the route launches citing uncertain "commercial terms" with Lanseria airport.

Comair/Kulula had previously enjoyed exclusive rights for scheduled operations at Lanseria. Its monopoly is due to end in Jun-2011, with Mango's new service to Cape Town. Comair is concerned that increasing traffic at the airport will overwhelm its limited capacity. 

Comair hopes to continue to expand across Africa, but has postponed the route launches until Sep-2011, unless it gets the assurances from the airport. Under a in partnership with Solenta Aviation, the carrier recently introduced the first of three ATR turboprop aircraft into is fleet. The aircraft will be used for local and regional network development.

Comair and Dube Trade Port recently signed an agreement allow the airline to fly between King Shaka International Airport and London Heathrow.

Selected Middle East & African airline share price movements (% change): 23-May-2011