A qual­ity op­er­a­tion

Financial Mail - - DIAMONDS & DOGS - @jamiecarr

There’s lit­tle need for fur­ther ex­am­ples of the rel­a­tive per­for­mance of pri­vate ver­sus pub­lic sec­tor op­er­a­tions, but the SA avi­a­tion sec­tor el­e­vates the ar­gu­ment to the level of car­i­ca­ture. While the Fly­ing Spring­bok lurches from cri­sis to dis­as­ter, de­vour­ing un­holy quan­ti­ties of tax­pay­ers’ hard-earned money, Co­mair goes qui­etly about its busi­ness, churn­ing out profit af­ter profit in a no­to­ri­ously tough in­dus­try. It has di­ver­si­fied its busi­ness away from merely flog­ging up and down the ma­jor routes, but the air­line busi­ness re­mains the largest con­trib­u­tor.

It is a real trib­ute to the qual­ity of this op­er­a­tion that it con­tin­ues to per­form well de­spite a com­bi­na­tion of head­winds that would have caused may­hem for a less com­pe­tent player, and cer­tainly did in the case of the na­tional car­rier. GDP growth hit the skids, the ex­change rate was whirling around all over the place, fuel prices were up and the mar­ket was stuffed full of ca­pac­ity, yet Co­mair’s air­line busi­ness still turned in a solid per­for­mance. It con­tin­ues to in­vest heav­ily in its fleet, and this will en­able it to com­pete de­spite the tricky op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

In the non-air­line seg­ment, Co­mair is in­vest­ing to es­tab­lish a train­ing cen­tre that will pro­vide sim­u­la­tors for the pilots, as well as train­ing for cabin crew, pas­sen­ger han­dling and lead­er­ship train­ing at a more se­nior strate­gic level. It con­tin­ues to de­velop its lounge net­work, its cater­ing unit and its travel busi­ness, as well as the tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions that are a key suc­cess fac­tor across all its var­i­ous niches.

It’s a high-qual­ity op­er­a­tion that looks set to con­tinue to thrive.

Co­mair is a high-qual­ity op­er­a­tion that looks set to con­tinue to thrive

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