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- 1 Marignane Drive, 1619 Kempton Park, Gauteng Map
- In 1946 – more than 6 decades ago – Commercial Air Services began operating with its charter flight from Rand Airport in Germiston to Durban. Who would have thought that the idle chatter amongst three South African Air Force pilots in the middle of the Egyptian desert would become South Africa’s longest operating airline after the national carrier? AC Joubert, JMS Martin and L Zimmerman had laid down the foundations for a business that would offer pilot training, a charter service, and possibly the sale of an occasional aircraft. This was developed into a long-standing relationship between Comair and the Cessna Aircraft Company. Commercial Air Services began by operating Fairchild UC-78’s as a charter service to some of the remotest places in Africa. New South African Aviation regulations in 1948 allowed for Comair to begin its first scheduled service, using a new Cessna model 195. Carrying a pilot and four passengers, the Cessna followed the daily return route from Johannesburg to Durban via Kroonstad, Odendaalsrus, Bloemfontein, Bethlehem and Ladysmith.
A regulated service was not a commercially viable option for Comair at this time, and when Government support was rejected, it was announced that the service must end. As luck would have it, the Anglo American Corporation approached Comair to keep the service – at least to the Free State Goldfields – and agreed to subsidise the losses within reason. Thus Comair continued to operate a scheduled route, and so secured its future existence. After the South African Domestic Aviation Industry was deregulated in 1990, Comair entered the main domestic routes in 1992, operating with Boeing 737-200’s and Fokker aircraft and carrying almost 100,000 passengers a year. At this stage, the route network included services to Cape Town, Durban, Richards Bay, Skukuza, Manzini, Gaborone and Harare, with 200 departures per week. The target market was predominantly leisure passengers who booked safari packages directly with Comair. In 1996, the company underwent major changes when it became a franchise partner with British Airways. From this point, Comair became known as British Airways Comair, and took on the colours and livery of British Airways International. In 2001, Comair launched South Africa’s first ‘no-frills’ carrier in the form of kulula.com - kulula means ‘easily’ in Zulu.
In the early 2000’s, Comair opens its own Training Centre based at its Operations Building in Rhodesfield. The Comair Training Centre (CTC) provides operations training for the Boeing B737-
2/3/4/5/800 series for both local and international flight deck aircrew, cabin crew and flight operations personnel. Comair launched its ‘travel/holiday package’ service offering in
2007, after investing in world leading technology to engineer a vehicle that can deliver travel to the consumer and retail travel trade in a manner never before seen in South Africa. Through acquisition, expansion and partnerships, Comair has established the country’s largest and broadest digital travel distribution network. The brands under the Comair Travel banner include kulula holidays, Holiday Tours, GoTravel24, mtbeds as well as African Dream Holidays and it continues to form partnerships with industry leaders as part of its objective to continuously expand and grow the business.
Comair positioned itself as market leader in terms of creative and innovative product and service offering when it launched the domestic SLOW Lounge at OR Tambo International, in partnership with FNB and RMB Private Bank, in 2009. Soon to follow, in 2010, was the opening of the domestic SLOW Lounges at Cape Town and Durban International Airports and in 2011, the international SLOW Lounge at OR Tambo International Airport. The award winning SLOW Lounges set a global standard for airport lounges, providing a perfect sanctuary from the fast pace of travel and modern life, and continue to win awards for their creative excellence. In 2011, Comair expanded the SLOW brand by launching SLOW in the City, in partnership with FNB and RMB Private Bank, in Sandton, Johannesburg. Another business enterprise for Comair, in the form of its very own catering unit, was launched in 2012. Food Directions services both the British Airways Comair and the kulula.com brands with its onboard catering, giving Comair the control and flexibility in terms of costs as well as the product offering.
For close to 70 years, Comair has provided a product and service of consistent value, reliability and professionalism, and now carries an average of 5.1 million passengers per annum locally and regionally with kulula.com and British Airways. It is the reputation of quality and passion for service that will ensure Comair continues to play a major role in the Southern African aviation and travel industry.
comairjobs - Kempton Park
Comair is a South African company, offering airline services within South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands as its main business.