‘Ferguson and Orsmond destroyed the airline’: NUMSA on Comair

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The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) says Comair CEO, Glen Orsmond and Business Rescue Practitioner, Richard Ferguson destroyed Comair Limited.  

Comair which operates Kulula.com and British Airways in Southern Africa voluntarily grounded its flights citing capital issues. On Thursday, the BRP’s lodged a court application to convert the business rescue proceedings into liquidation proceedings.

NUMSA WEIGH IS ON COMAIR LIQUIDATION 

NUMSA, which represents roughly 700 Comair employees, said its members are shocked and angry. They also feel betrayed because they fought with all they had to keep the airline in the sky. 

According to the union, for more than two years, Comair employees were not paid their salaries in full, because they were told this would ensure the airline’s survival. 

NUMSA spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said Comair was founded in 1943, it is a viable business which has over 40% share of the aviation market. It is facing collapse simply because it was mismanaged by Richard Ferguson the BRP and the CEO Glenn Orsmond.

Comair NUMSA
Comair Limited has filed for liquidation. Photo: Supplied.

“Richard Ferguson was appointed in May 2020 after the airline was placed under business rescue. Since then, Ferguson and Orsmond have lurched from one crisis to another. They have not bothered to engage workers in a meaningful way and they took decisions unilaterally without consulting stakeholders. 

“In March Comair had its operating licence suspended and the airline was grounded by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) because it was not adhering to safety standards. It is also very clear that the entire business rescue process was a sham.”

Phakamile Hlubi-Majola

NUMSA also accused Ferguson and Orsmond of not making an effort to save the business and through their actions the two  destroyed the airline. 

“The airline was totally mismanaged to the point of collapse, and the most painful thing is that more than 1200 workers will pay the highest price for their failure.” Hlubi-Majola said.

The court will reportedly hear an application for provisional liquidation on Tuesday 14 June 2022.

ALSO READ: Comair suspension: NUMSA calls for resignation of CEO, Glen Orsmond

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