LAGOS NIGERIA WEATHER | Chief executive of Comair steps down

Comair operates low-cost airline as well as British Airways domestically.

Comair operates low-cost airline as well as British Airways domestically.

Wrenelle Stander has decided to step down as CEO and executive director of the board of JSE-listed Comair, according to a notice to shareholders issued on Monday.

Her position will be taken over by Glenn Orsmond as from December 1. He is part of the Comair Rescue Consortium, the winning bidder in Comair’s business rescue process. Kirsten King has been appointed chief financial officer.

Comair, which operates low-cost airline as well as British Airways domestically, went into voluntary business rescue in May this year due to the impact of the coronavirus lockdown which initially grounded all commercial flights. is set to start flying on 1 December and BA on 9 December.

“I am excited to be back and, together with some of the other previous Comair executives we are up for the challenge. A lot is happening in the market currently, but we are pleased with how things have unfolded. The big winners will be the flying public and the Comair employees whose jobs were secured,” Orsmond told Fin24.

In a letter addressed to Comair employees and seen by Fin24, Stander says “as you have been aware for some time now, the new Investor Consortium signalled that they would bring in a new executive team. I would like to wish the new team well and hope that under their leadership Comair will grow from strength to strength”.

“I must thank the Comair board for placing their confidence in me when they appointed me as the sole CEO in March 2020, shortly before the company was placed into business rescue and for their support during one of the most difficult times in the history of Comair,” she continues.

“I also wish to thank the joint business rescue practitioners, Shaun Collyer and Richard Ferguson for their co-operation and collaboration over the past 7 months.” In her view, Comair is a great company and and she firmly believes that it will return to be a major player in the South African airline industry. 

The Comair board thanked Stander for her contribution over the past two years, especially for “the hard work, commitment and outstanding leadership” she provided during the Covid-19 pandemic and business rescue process.

An application by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa against Comair, Solidarity and other parties was recently dismissed by the Labour Court. NUMSA wanted the Labour Court to declare that Comair and its business rescue practitioners are acting in a procedurally unfair manner regarding a section 189 retrenchment process which started in October this year. 

Discovery Vitality has also resumed its agreement with, as has FNB’s eBucks rewards programme arrangement with Comair.

* This article was updated to include extracts from Stander’s letter to employees.

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