Jamie Carr Columnist

There’s little need for further examples of the relative performance of private versus public sector operations, but the SA aviation sector elevates the argument to the level of caricature. While the Flying Springbok lurches from crisis to disaster, devouring unholy quantities of taxpayers’ hard-earned money, Comair goes quietly about its business, churning out profit after profit in a notoriously tough industry. It has diversified its business away from merely flogging up and down the major routes, but the airline business remains the largest contributor. It is a real tribute to the quality of this operation that it continues to perform well despite a combination of headwinds that would have caused mayhem for a less competent player, and certainly did in the case of the national carrier. GDP growth hit the skids, the exchange rate was whirling around all over the place, fuel prices were up and the market was stuffed full of capacity, yet Comair’s airline business still turned in a ...

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