When South African airline Comair fell into liquidation in June, it seemed to be the end of the British Airways franchise operation in South Africa.
This may not be the case, however.
The CEO of South African Airways has told local media that the airline is in discussions with British Airways about restarting the franchise.
If you never flew Comair, it was 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.
As well as domestic routes in South Africa, the network also stretched further afield, including Mauritius. Sadly the airline was unable to survive the pandemic, despite an initial bailout in 2020.
Comair’s provisional liquidator has confirmed that British Airways is looking for a new South African partner.
On the face of it, restarting an obscure franchise operation would not appear a top priority for British Airways. The deal had merits, however. The franchise fees, for a start, are pure profit for the airline. IAG Loyalty benefits from the sale of Avios to the franchise.
The franchise also helps British Airways plug the many gaps in its African network, although this is arguably less important now that Royal Air Maroc and Qatar Airways are members of the oneworld alliance.
You can read more on the Fin24 website here.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.