Comair eyes flight resumption in December

A Kulula aircraft operated by Comair.
A Kulula aircraft operated by Comair.

Comair, which operates British Airways flights and Kulula in SA, aims to resume flights in December and cut almost a fifth of its workforce if shareholders accept a business rescue plan.

According to the plan published on Wednesday, a consortium of investors would inject R500m into the group in return for a 99% shareholding. The group intends to reduce staff to 1,800 from 2,200 previously.

Shareholders and creditors have until September 18 to adopt the plan, which would see aircraft gradually return to service from December with a seven-month ramp-up period until June 2021.

Additional funding from lenders of R1.4bn is required to successfully implement the adopted plan, including R600m in net new debt, while R800m of existing debt would be deferred.

Comair entered business rescue in May — a form of bankruptcy protection that allows a financially distressed company to delay creditors’ claims against it or its assets.

The company appointed Shaun Collyer and Richard Ferguson as joint business rescue practitioners to oversee the restructuring  and work out if it can survive or if assets should be auctioned off to pay creditors.

Ferguson said on Wednesday if the plan were adopted, the business rescue process should be concluded by the end of March 2021, if not sooner.

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