ROUTES AFRICA: Comair’s Tale of Two Airline Brands

South African carrier Comair has been operating for over 70 years and has shown over the past two decades that you can successfully operate both a full service and budget operation in Africa, albeit under two very separate brands.

South African carrier Comair has been operating for over 70 years and has shown over the past two decades that you can successfully operate both a full service and budget operation in Africa, albeit under two very separate brands. The airline was established after World War II and grew over the subsequent decades launching services on major domestic routes in 1992 and latterly to international destinations in Southern Africa.

Its premium operation is now run under the globally recognised British Airways brand after a franchise agreement was signed with the UK carrier in 1996. In early 2000 British Airways acquired a minority holding and in 2007 extended the franchise arrangement for a further eleven years. This full-service, two-class offering is complemented by Comair’s own low-cost operation, Kulula.com which was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2001 and operates exclusively on domestic routes.

”It’s been working very well for us,” Marianne Kingsburgh, revenue manager of Comair’s British Airways operation told The HUB during the recent Routes Africa forum in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. ”It obviously gives you opportunities to have the two brands. It has worked for us and is a good model to operate.”

You can find out more about how the two airline brands co-exist and how they interract with joint marketing strategies in our video interview, below.

Comair - one airline, two very different brands!

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