South African airline Comair said on Monday it had opened bookings for domestic British Airways flights ahead of a planned resumption of services from December 9.

In September Comair, which operates British Airways and low-cost carrier in South Africa but has been under business rescue, said it would hopefully begin flying again in December if creditors and shareholders accepted and adopted a plan which involved cutting about 400 jobs.

Last month the airline said investors had secured the required credit approval from various lenders of debt funding, as well as approval from various regulators necessary for their investment in Comair to proceed.

This was after it met another condition of its business rescue plan; reaching a collective agreement with trade unions representing 50 percent plus one employees.

On Monday Glenn Orsmond, representing the Comair Rescue Consortium, said with reservations for the British Airways’ flights open, the company was now able to offer bookings on a considerably expanded schedule.

“As well as giving customers the choice of booking on either of our airline brands and a greater range of competitive fares, they now also have the option of booking in business class,” Orsmond said in a statement.

Comair introduced the British Airways’ brand to domestic and regional routes in South and southern Africa in 1996 when it signed a franchise agreement with the United Kingdom’s largest carrier. It has been British Airways’ most successful franchise.

“British Airways’ ongoing support is a huge vote of confidence in the future of Comair,” Orsmond said.

Comair would initially operate a fleet of fifteen aircraft across both its airline brands, gradually increasing as the remainder of the fleet returned to service over the next few months, he added.

Comair’s rescue practitioners have previously said the airline’s woes were not business specific, but largely the result of an eco-system problem which saw some 600 airlines around the world grounded for months due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa