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Comair ups fleet efficiency in partnership with Boeing

Mar 15 2018 17:07

Cape Town - Independent South African airline Comair announced the latest details of its fleet renewal programme on Thursday.

Comair has been operating for 72 years, continually making a profit over the years. It is the 4th largest airline in Africa, undertaking 43 000 flights per year using 26 Boeing 737 aircraft

At a media briefing jointly hosted by Comair and Boeing, Comair CEO Erik Venter outlined the next phase of the airline’s fleet renewal programme.

Comair is scheduled to take delivery of the first of eight Boeing 737 MAX 8s early in 2019 with the last one due in 2022.

This marks the next stage of the airline’s renewal strategy, which started in 2011. It will see the company phasing out the remaining Boeing 737-400s and becoming the first airline on the continent to take delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX.

According to Venter, this will give Comair’s two airline brands, and British Airways (operated by Comair) the benefits of increased seating capacity, lower operating costs and lowered downtime for maintenance.

“Comair already has the most modern and efficient fleet in SA, which increases our competitiveness," claimed Venter.

“The reasoning behind this investment goes to the core of the operating efficiency of our airline and non-airline brands. The airline business has very narrow margins, so to operate sustainably you need the right equipment, operating systems, levels of customer service and the right people."

He said a large proportion of Comair's 2 100 employees have been with the company for more than 10 years.

Comair’s airline brands operate to 11 destinations in SA, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean.

"Our fleet renewal strategy means we use 33% less fuel per passenger and the aircraft are 7% more fuel and cost-efficient overall. It means that increases in the oil-price actually work in our favour,” said Venter.

J. Miguel Santos, managing director for Boeing International sub-Sahara Africa said the 100-year-old manufacturer this week produced its 10 000th Boeing 737 - a Guinness World Record. He added that the 737 is already the world’s best-selling airliner.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) estimates that Africa has just 2.2% of the global airline passenger share, but 16% of the world’s population. This is an indication for Santos of the potential for growth in the sector in coming years.

Boeing has instituted an internship programme to help nurture young talent in Africa, and works closely with airlines in Africa, he added.

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boeing  |  comair  |  airlines  |  aviation


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