Iata has suspended ticketing authority for Comair with immediate effect.

The airline, which operates kulula.com and the British Airways franchise in Southern Africa under licence, reported substantial losses and then announced its decision to go into voluntary business rescue on May 5 to safeguard the company and its stakeholders.

In a notification to the trade this week, Iata advised agents to suspend all ticketing activities on behalf of Comair, including the use of all automated systems for processing refunds or other transactions on behalf of the airline. It also advised that all outstanding billings must be settled with Comair directly.

“For remittance purposes this means that the total amounts to be paid by BSP travel agents to the BSP for future remittance dates shall not contain any amounts due to or from Comair, including any refund actually or potentially owing by Comair. No refunds may be deducted or carried out from Comair’s outstanding billings, pending sales or any other future transactions. Please note that if you have already made your remittance to the clearing bank ahead of the next remittance date, you may need to complete your remittance by making the adjustments discussed above,” said Juan Antonio Rodriguez on behalf of Iata’s global delivery centre.

A Comair statement distributed to its travel partners this week advised that the airline remained solvent and that its decision to enter into business rescue was a necessary process to ensure a focused restructuring of the company. The airline said it expected to resume operations by November 1 (once travel restrictions imposed by government had been lifted).

Shaun Collyer and Richard Ferguson have been appointed joint business rescue practitioners.

“All customers who had purchased tickets to travel on either of Comair’s airline brands – kulula.com or British Airways (operated by Comair) would be contacted by the business rescue practitioners within due course to discuss the way forward in accordance with the processes set out in the Companies Act. It should be noted that persons who have purchased tickets for Comair-operated flights are considered creditors of the company and will enjoy the same rights,” said the airline.

Travel News approached both Comair and Iata for further comment on the above statements but had not heard from either at the time of publication.