JOHANNESBURG – The liquidation of Comair could be a blow to the tourism sector in South Africa according to Tourism Business Council of South Africa chief executive Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa.
On Tuesday, the High Court placed Comair in provisional liquidation as the airline grappled with a financial crisis.
Tshivhengwa said the disruption caused by the airline’s liquidation could also impact other sectors.
He also expressed concern about rising air ticket prices – caused by the declining competitiveness of the aviation sector, adding that this could scare away tourists.
Tshivhengwa adds that the council will lobby the Air Service Licensing Council to issue more licenses to aircraft seeking to increase frequency.
The beleaguered airline, which is believed to account for 40% of the domestic aviation market, will only slow the recovery of the tourism industry.
Tshivhengwa believes the appeal to the Air Services Licensing Board will help increase capacity and keep the tourism industry afloat.
“If we do it efficiently and quickly enough, we may be able to convert the planes that are on the airline list and operate, and we may have the capacity that we need to keep the tourism industry afloat,” he said.
Tourism in the country suffered a rush during the COVID-19 pandemic as flights were grounded around the world.