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.

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Comments

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 Avios.com ( and is it full taxes I get back ) ?
    TIA

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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