The majority of Comair employees have voted to accept the new terms of employment outlined in the airline’s business rescue plan (BRP), thus fulfilling the first suspensive condition needed for the plan to be adopted and placing the airline one step closer to taking to the skies again.
On September 18, the BRP was adopted by 90% of creditors and shareholders in a vote. The implementation of the plan was contingent on a majority of employees, through their representative unions, concluding a collective agreement outlining amended terms of employment.
Employees were asked to waive their right to claim for salary payments while the airline was grounded and to take an alleged 30% pay cut. The plan also outlined that another 400 jobs would be cut. Should a majority employee vote not have been achieved, the airline would have been wound down with its remaining 1 800 employees all losing their jobs.
A Comair spokesperson confirmed that the collective agreement had been signed by the labour parties representing 50% + 1 of employees.
“We are very happy to hear this news as we have always had a great relationship with Comair and its employees. We need competitors domestically and Comair has been around long enough to create stability in the market,” said MD of eTravel, Tammy Hunt.
Founder and CEO of eTravel, Garth Wolff, said he believed Comair would boom when it restarted in December, and that the airline’s resumption of services was well timed to take advantage of a recovering market, cheap oil prices and a buyers’ market for aircraft.