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Comair, the British Airways franchise in South Africa, is in trouble

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Comair, the British Airways franchise operator in South Africa – in which BA has a circa 10% shareholding – has filed for ‘business rescue’.

This is not necessarily the end of line.  ‘Business rescue’ is similar to Chapter 11 in the United States, and allows a company to be protected from its creditors whilst it attempts to re-arrange its affairs.  The company is looking at options for raising additional capital, whether via a rights issue or convertible debt, whilst also looking to cut jobs.

If you’ve never flown Comair, it is a fascinating experience.  You are on a BA-branded aircraft (see the photo below) with crew in British Airways uniform, operating to BA service standards, flying from Johannesburg to Cape Town or similar!

You can find more information on Reuters here.

Aer Lingus extends its ‘no change fees’ option

Aer Lingus has pushed out the deadline for taking advantage of its ‘no change fees’ offer.

If you book now, for travel up to 30th September, you can change your flight to a new date without paying change fees.

You need to note three key ‘gotchas’, however:

whilst there are no change fees, you WILL have to pay any fare difference

it is not clear if your revised travel date has to also be before 30th September, or if there is a specific future cut-off date, or if you can rebook up to the full 355 days in advance

for travel beyond 30th June, there is no alternative of taking an Aer Lingus voucher – your ONLY option, if your flight is not cancelled, is a date change

You can see details on the Aer Lingus website here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (21)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ben says:

    Kind of wish the UK Marriott card had the design above.. Much better than the boring one we ended up getting.

  • Aliks says:

    I see that Investor’s Chronicle are rating IHG as a BUY. Are there any special perks from owning shares in the major hotel chains, and anyone got a view on whether they are worth buying right now?

    • RussellH says:

      IHG are not on my broker’s list of companies offering UK shareholder perks.
      AFAIK, Hilton + Marriott do not have a London listing

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      They hoard cash

      I considered it but many better value for money shares about

    • Genghis says:

      Don’t bother with share picks.

      • Doug M says:

        I do. I like to test my choices against the funds.

        • Genghis says:

          And what’s your record over the long term? As a bit of a hobby, fair enough, but not as a place to build wealth IMO.

      • Aliks says:

        I know, the financial press are little better than tip sheets, but I have to give a reasonable answer to my wife who believes every word they say.

    • Chris K says:

      You can access shareholders discount (but only if you hold the shares the old way, in paper (certificate) form). But it’s rubbish, it’s 10% which you can probably get off anyway by buying an advance rate. And because it’s a “special” rate you apparently don’t get IHG points on stays either!

      In terms of whether they’re a buy or not… a few months ago they were worth twice what I paid for them in 2014. Now they’re maybe 10% up on what I bought them for.

      I personally won’t be buying more though.

  • Cuchlainn says:

    Due to fly EI from DUB to FAO on 30th June, using Avios under the old scheme flight numbers (17K return).
    Ireland ( and probably Portugal ) will not be allowing inter-Europe non-essential travel for several months.
    Will I get a cancellation notice via Aer Lingus (as this is an Avios redemption booking) ?
    Do I claim Avios and taxes back from ( and is it full taxes I get back ) ?

  • Steopia says:

    Hopefully something can be sorted out with Comair.

    I agree that flying with them is a fascinating experience. I’d gently suggest however that they do not operate to BA service standards – Comair’s standards are FAR higher.

    Flew return flights with them last year on a two hour trip from Johannesburg to Livingstone, Zambia. They served a hot meal with dessert and alcoholic drinks for all passengers (ie including me in economy). All seats were really comfortable. However, I paid around a tenner extra to have exit seats and was given the most legroom you could ever imagine – I’m 6”3 and could not reach the seats in front with my legs. And they give you one bag of hold luggage for free.

    • Mikeact says:

      How about a bit of Virgin news today….
      Alvarez and Marsal have been put on standby in the likelihood of Virgin going into potential administration.

  • Simon says:

    It seems like no surprise with Virgin. The 14-day quarantine thing suggested by the government is a bit of an own-goal for the airlines.

    Public sentiment seems to have really changed on Branson. At the start of his request for cash he was up there with Tim Wetherspoon, with so many unfortunate job losses coming, the same people have gone quiet.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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