Monday, June 10, 2013

■ SOUTH AFRICA: Comair Ltd forecasts 20% rise in earnings for this year as fastjet may face more launch obstacles.

Comair LtdSouth African aviation group, Comair Ltd, the parent company of both kulula.com (MN) and its British Airways-franchise, BA Comair, says it expects its headline earnings and earnings per share for the first nine months of the year to June 2013 to be over 20% higher than last year, but did not, however, quantify the extent of its results.

In a Johannesburg Stock Exchange trading statement issued on Friday June 6, the group said the rise is "largely attributable to improved cost recoveries through new revenue management and operating systems as well as efficiencies arising from the new aircraft purchased in the first six months of the financial year. In addition, industry capacity has also been more closely aligned to market demand."

A further trading statement for the reporting period will be issued once the Company has reasonable certainty with regard to its results for the reporting period with results expected to be released on the Stock Exchange News Service before the end of September 2013. 

Meanwhile, fastjet (FN), who after announcing not-so-rosey financial results apropos its Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Angola operations, could be facing a protracted launch battle for its South African venture, operated in conjunction with Federal Air (7V) and scheduled to launch on July 1, should it be found to be in contravention of  South Africa's strict laws governing airline Aircraft Operator's Certificates.

According to TourismUpdate, in order for fastjet to begin selling tickets under its own brand, a name change on Federal Air's AOC is to be submitted to South Africa's Air Services Licensing Council; a move fastjet disputes claiming that while flights will operate using a 737-300 leased from Star Air Cargo wearing the fastjet brand, the AOC will still remain in Fed Air's name.

However, South Africa's Department of Transport disputes this stating that as fastjet is not a licensee, it cannot therefore sell tickets with its brand. According to South African law, any name change, address, shareholding and any change of operations of a licensee must be approved by the ATCL.