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British Airways’ flights in South Africa are operated by Comair Limited, a BA franchisee and affiliate member of the Oneworld global airline alliance. The franchise agreement between British Airways and Comair dates back to 1996, and in early 2000 BA acquired a minority stake in Comair. Known for its signature hospitality and great in-flight experience, British Airways / Comair is frequently the choice of business flyers in South Africa and further afield.
In 1996 British Airways Comair was established after Comair became the franchise partner of British Airways in South Africa. The airline took the livery and colours of British Airways International.
Being a franchise partner of British Airways and a member of the massive oneworld alliance. British Airways Comair offers travellers connections to the alliance’s international route network through their premium local service.
In South Africa, the BA / Comair fleet consists, in the main, of Boeing 737s. Their new fleet of next-generation, fuel efficient Boeing 737-800s acquired in late 2013 is already giving Comair a strategic advantage in terms of operational costs. In contrast, key competitor SAA is blaming its ageing fleet and high fuel bills for rocketing flight ticket prices and plummeting financials.
In a market where a succession of low cost operators and emerging airlines have been crushed by anti competitive behaviour by SAA and Mango, in particular, Comair’s growth and increasing profitability is significant. Yet it’s not been all smooth sailing; between November 2013 and January 2014, fuel prices have risen from around R8 to R9 per litre, costing Comair / British Airways an additional R20 million per month.
While this factor clearly places pressure on the airline to raise flight prices, Comair shareholders have no reason to complain; the airline reported an interim dividend of 5c per share following a strong performance in its half year to December 2013.
AirlineRatings.com released its annual list of the world’s 10 safest airlines, and unsurprisingly, British Airways was among this listing. Along with Qantas, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates and others, this award illustrates the British Airways is at the forefront of safety innovation in the aviation industry.
Checked baggage: Economy class passengers are allowed one checked bag that may weigh up to 23kg. Business class passengers are allowed 2 bags that may weigh up to 23 kg each.
Carry-on baggage: Both classes are allowed one slim line laptop bag and one bag than may weigh up to 7kg.
Infants entitled to one checked bag that can weigh up to 10kg. Infants are also entitled to a take on board a collapsible pushchair and a child car seat.
Those travelling with special luggage like bicycles, will have to disassemble and pack it in a case. Passengers with special baggage are required to check in 90 minutes before boarding time.
British Airways Comair allows passengers to check in online, through their phone or at the check in counter at the airport. Online check in and cellphone check in opens 24 hours before departure and closes 2 hours before departure. Passangers who wish to check in through their cellpones will need to download the British Airways app through iTunes or the Android app store. Check in at the airport closes 40 minutes before departure.
British Airways offers two class options, economy and business class.
British Airways is an all inclusive airline, which means that the price of your food and drink is included in your airfare.
British Airways Comair allows pets to be flown as cargo only. Passengers will need to phone the airline at least 72 hours before departure to arrange for their pet to travel with them. Read more about BA’s pet policy by clicking here.
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