17-Feb-2010 12:24 PM

Comair plans to continue expanding, but sees no signs of recovery in South Africa

Comair announced the following following the release of its 2H2009 financial report:

  • Financial results: Attributed its decline in revenue for 2H2009 to lower yields, despite consistency in passenger numbers amid the global financial downturn (Times Live/Travelwires.com, 16-Feb-2010). The carrier does not plan to declare an interim dividend, as company policy stated it can only pay one dividend p/a;
  • Recovery: Comair is “cautiously optimistic” of increased passenger numbers during the 2010 World Cup, as some capacity is still yet to be taken up for the period (Engineering News, 16-Feb-2010);
  • Route network expansion: Plans to increase capacity from Lanseria by 35%, with increased frequency on Durban and Cape Town services in Mar-2010, in response to “good growth” from the destination. Comair also plans to launch a number of new routes “in the next few months” to “chip away” market share from South African Airways, including five times weekly services from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam and Walvis Bay (Fin24.com, 16-Feb-2010). The carrier also plans to increase Johannesburg-Windhoek frequency to ten times weekly;
  • Fleet expansion: In the process of acquiring eight new B737-800s, for delivery between 2012 and 2015, after taking delivery of two B737-800s in the past six months on operating leases. Comair is currently considering different financing options for the new aircraft, worth approximately ZAR300 million (USD39.2 million) each (Moneyweb, 16-Feb-2010).

Comair: “The recessionary environment has continued in the local air travel market, but despite tough trading conditions the Comair business has maintained passenger volumes, which means we have grown our share of the market. This is great news, and it can mainly be attributed to our strong brands and excellent people…Going forward, we see the difficult trading conditions continuing and our priorities remain safety, operating efficiency, conservative cash management and superior customer service, while seeking new growth opportunities for both the airline and related businesses,” Erik Venter, Joint CEO. Travelwires.com, 16-Feb-2010.

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