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Comair has managed to keep its wings in the air after obtaining an interdict against the Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC), which threatened to revoke its operating license and ground its domestic operations, which include services provided by British Airways domestic and Kulula.

The current dispute between Comair and the Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC) originated as a complaint lodged by Flysafair with the ASLC questioning Comair’s level of foreign ownership. The Air Services Licensing Act stipulates that no more than 25% of the voting rights in a domestic airline may be held by foreigners. Comair feels confident that it complies with this limit.

In a statement released by Comair on May 11, it said that the ASLC indicated that they could not provide clarity on their intentions and were undecided on whether or not to suspend Comair’s domestic air services license.

As a result of this uncertainty, Comair obtained an interdict against the ASLC from potentially revoking its license at any time prior to the scheduled interdict hearing set for May 17. Thereafter Comair will have the opportunity to take the decision of the ASLC regarding Comair’s shareholding on review.

Comair CEO, Erik Venter added: “We have resorted to these extraordinary and urgent measures to ensure we are able to secure operational certainty for the many thousands of travellers being held to ransom over the potential disruption to their important travel plans. We are pleased that this result will place the burden of decision into a court of law where Comair will be afforded a fair opportunity to make representation as to why we are confident in our compliance with the Act.”

Further to the complaint initially lodged by FlySafair, Venter said that it is important to note that whilst FlySafair has subsequently stated that it has no interest pursuing its complaint, the ASLC is still not satisfied that Comair is compliant with the Air Services Licensing Act.