Comair, BA’s South African franchise, is bust – here’s what happens next
Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.
Comair, the British Airways franchise operator in South Africa, suspended its operations last week. The airline has now been placed into liquidation and it appears very unlikely that it will resume flights.
Back in 2020, Comair filed for ‘Business Rescue’ which is similar to Chapter 11 in the United States. It managed to raise new money and returned to the skies. It hasn’t been a smooth experience, however, with flights suspended for a few days in March 2022 following safety concerns.
The airline has run out of money again. It was hoped that new investment could be found, but liquidators have now been appointed.
If you never flew Comair, it is a fascinating experience. You were on a BA-branded aircraft (see the photo above) with crew in British Airways uniform, operating to BA service standards, flying from Johannesburg to Cape Town or similar.
What happens to my booked Comair flight?
British Airways has issued two guidance notes about rebooking on Airlink and South African Airways.
The most important point is this. If you were booked London – Johnannesburg – Cape Town, connecting to Comair ON THE SAME TICKET, BA will rebook you on the direct London – Cape Town service.
This is an excellent result which will shave a couple of hours off the journey time.
However, if you have a standalone Comair flight ticket, rebooking is only available until 14th June. This will be a problem if you booked an Avios seat using a 2-4-1 voucher, since your Comair connection will be on a standalone ticket. You will be on your own to find an alternative flight unless you are travelling in the next few days.
Click here for the official details of rebooking on Airlink
Click here for the official details of rebooking on South African Airways
To be clear, the liquidation of Comair has no impact on the British Airways long haul flights between London and Johannesburg / Cape Town.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2023)
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 Mastercard
Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
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 £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
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
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.