Comair flies SAPS K9 dogs to aid Cyclone Idai disaster relief

As part of the massive rescue and aid effort in the wake of Cyclone Idai, Comair yesterday (SUBS: Tuesday 26 March) flew four SAPS K9 rescue dogs from Johannesburg to Zimbabwe. The dogs are part of the Gift of the Givers search and rescue team who will be working with the relevant authorities in Zimbabwe.

Susan van der Ryst, Corporate Communications Head for Comair Limited says, "We're proud that British Airways, which we operate under licence in Southern Africa, was able to fly these talented highly specialised animals and their handlers to help the relief work."

Comair is a regular supporter of Gift of the Givers, one of the many disaster relief organisations working to help thousands of Zimbabweans, Malawians and Mozambicans left homeless or without food of water by the tragedy. Around 1.5m people have been affected in Mozambique alone.

British Airways' international operations are also donating all money collected through its Flying Start charity relief work following vast damage wrought by what's being described as one of the most destructive tropical cyclones to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.

Roslyn Toontas, spokesperson for Gift of the Givers says "This was a combined effort of the SAPS and our search and rescue team. Six members of SAPS accompanied our team, four dog handlers and two specialists.

"Special thanks to the Bid Air Pet Lounge, who had the dogs cleared by customs at very short notice and made sure they had the correct documentation, for which they waived charges. It's thanks those efforts that the dogs and the search and rescue teams were able to get to work as quickly as possible."

About Comair Limited

Managed and owned by South Africans through its listing on the JSE, Comair has operated successfully in this country since 1946. This proudly South African aviation and travel group comprises four business units:


Comair offers scheduled and non-scheduled airline services within South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, as its main business. The Group operates under its low-fare airline brand,, as well as under the British Airways livery, as part of a license agreement. is the market leader in affordable, easily accessible air travel and continues to grow in the cost-conscious business and leisure markets. It has become one of South Africa’s iconic consumer brands, while British Airways continues to grow in the corporate and public sectors, as well as in the inbound tourist markets.

Hospitality and Tourism

Comair's catering service, Food Directions, originally launched to cater to the airline brands, now also provides a range of health and other food products to retailers. Its award-winning domestic and international SLOW Lounges have set the standards for airline hospitality in South Africa. The SLOW Lounge concept is based on the theme that time plays a significant part of life and the concept has been expanded to SLOW in the City, SLOW XS and The Course. Investment in technology to improve operational efficiency and offer innovative products to travel agencies and consumers has seen the Group become the country's largest digital travel distribution network, covered under the Comair Travel brand.

Aviation Training

The Comair Training Centre - originally founded in early 2000 to train the airline's own flight and cabin crew - has grown considerably and now provides operational training for pilots and crew from other domestic and international airlines and even overseas air forces. Comair acquired EPT Aviation Training (Pty) Ltd and Global Training College South Africa (Pty) Ltd in 2017 with the primary objective to enhance its already formidable proposition, increasing its capacity for external commercial training of cabin crew, passenger handling, and travel and tourism training. It holds benefits for not only Comair, but the many young South Africans who envisage a career in aviation. Comair's most recent acquisition is that of the leadership development consultancy company, Metaco Holdings (Pty) Limited. The acquisition fits well with Comair's training business that already encompasses courses for pilots, cabin crew, ground operations staff and travel and tourism. Through Comair's existing client base, it has identified the demand for leadership and team coaching, and Metaco fits this requirement.

Aviation IT Solutions

In 2018,Comair entered into a joint venture with an IT company, Infinea SA Holdings (Pty) Ltd, establishing a jointly held company called Nacelle (Pty) Ltd. Nacelle is a service provider in aviation and related sectors, providing services such as IT operations and support, IT project deployment, process design and software development. Comair is the only known airline to have achieved operating profits for 73 consecutive years, has a safety record which is internationally recognised and a level 4 B-BBEE recognition. Comair has independently been certified by the Top Employers Institute as one of the Top Employers South Africa 2019.

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Issued by
William Smook
Meropa Communications
+27 21 683 6464
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