British Airways has taken a minority stake in South African regional carrier Comair in a move that cements the latter's status as a franchisee of the UK flag carrier, which will get two seats on its board. The 18.3% holding cost BA R168 million ($28 million) and was bought from private equity fund Gensec and black empowerment company Co-ordinated Investment Network.

Comair operates nearly 400 services a week between Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth; Cape Town and Durban; and to neighbouring Nambia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Flights to Malawi are planned.

BA director of investments and joint ventures, Roger Maynard, describes Comair as having "an excellent financial and service delivery record". Comair saw its operating profit rise to R77.6million ($13 million) for the six months to 31 December.

Source: Flight International