Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu has expressed concern following the grounding of all Comair flights.
On Tuesday, Comair announced the suspension all its kulula.com flights and the British Airways flights it operates under a licence agreement. The flights are suspended pending Comair successfully securing additional funding.
This comes shortly after the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) grounded Comair on 13 March 2022. Comair flight equates to about 40% of the country’s aviation capacity.
The company’s business rescue practitioners have advised that the process to raise the necessary capital is in progress and that there is reason to believe funding may be secured. Once received, the airline will be able to recommence operations.
British Airways (operated by Comair) and kulula.com ticket sales have also been suspended with immediate effect.
“This comes at a bad time as families are preparing for school holidays and some international holidaymakers are preparing to spend their summer holidays in South Africa. However, our main concern is the effect this will have on the tourism,” Minister Sisulu said.
According to Sisulu, “Domestic travel contributed positively to demand in the COVID-19 period, driven by campaigns and pricing targeted for our domestic market. This was positive and helped create better understanding within the market and through this exposure propelled the market to diversify its offerings.”
"Global tourism is rebounding despite lingering Covid restrictions and the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, but tourist arrival numbers are not back to pre-pandemic levels. The pace of recovery is slow and uneven across world regions, and this is due to varying degrees of mobility restrictions, vaccination rates, and traveller confidence," concluded Minister Sisulu.
Issued by Ministry of Tourism
Steve Motale on 0837840719
MLO Mpumzi Zuzile on 0725509019