ComAir awarded billions in in anti-competitive travel agent incentive schemes

 February 15 2017 – THE  South Gauteng High Court on (today) Wednesday awarded a R1.16 billion settlement to Comair in its case against South African Airways (SAA) in respect of its travel agent incentive schemes, which was found to be anti-competitive.

This comes after Comair and Nationwide Airlines accused SAA 14 years ago of implementing an incentive scheme to travel agents that kept the agents loyal to the state-owned airline and excluded competitors, a violation of the Competition Act.

The Competition Commission reached settlement with SAA in 2006 to end the practice, but Comair pursued litigation nonetheless.

In terms of the judgement, SAA was ordered to pay Comair R554 million plus interest at 15.5 percent, and costs amounting to about R1.16 billion.

Comair operates British Airways and its low-cost brand, kulula.com.

“As this has been a long and complex matter the company will need time to study the judgement,” Comair said in a statement.

The judgement was subject to appeal by both parties.

Comair on Tuesday posted a R199 million profit after tax for the six month period ending 31 December compared to R84 million in the previous period

SAA was not immediately available for comment.  – ANA