Ostensibly, anyone with some money can buy a few aircraft and try to flog people tickets to fly on them. But running a sustainable, viable airline is a little more complicated. It demands discipline, patience, innovation and consistency. Above all, it requires a certain obsession with organisational culture. That culture is built over the long term by a consistent focus on specific success factors. It requires a stable leadership team to create a strong culture that attracts and retains the best talent. Comair's current chairman was its CEO for 30 years and has been involved with the business for half a century. Half of our 2100 employees have been with us for more than 10 years. In case you think that's accommodating "dead wood" or doing the same thing the same way every year, think again. That's simply not how airlines survive, and it's not how Comair's two airline brands, British Airways and kulula.com, have secured 40% of the local market. Razor-thin profit margins demand effici...

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