June 2022

June Jurisdictional Update – South Africa

Haydn Davies – South Africa:

The oldest commercial airline in South Africa, Comair, filed for liquidation after not securing more funding. Comair has operated since 1946. Comair operated two brands, a franchise from British Airways and as a low-cost carrier, kulula.com. The airline has been in business rescue (Chapter 11) for the past two years. Comair held 40% of the South African airline market, so there will be a shake-up in the domestic market. We should see realignments.

The number of ground handling companies awarded a license for commercial contracts with airlines at the primary South African airports was reduced from three to two. The two successful bidders were Menzies and NAS Colossal. Swissport was unsuccessful but is challenging that license award, saying the licensing process was done unlawfully. To complicate matters, the worldwide global merger between NAS Colossal and Menzies will create a de facto ground handling monopoly at South African airports, which has the airlines up in arms. This is a dynamic situation, so we will see how it plays out over the next few months.

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