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KUL-2013-08 - AIRLINE ECONOMICS
KUL-2015-08 - Kulula Domestic Network.jpg
KUL-2015-08 - South Africa Domestic Airlines.jpg
Formed and started operations in 2001. Domestic, regional, & international, scheduled, passenger, jet airplane services.
Cnr 1 Marigne Drive & Atlas Road
Bonaero Park, Kempton Park
Gauteng, South Africa
June 2001: COMAIR (CML) STARTS NEW SUBSIDIARY, LOW-COST AIRLINE, NAMED "kulula.com" AND INITIALLY WILL OPERATE 2 737-200'S, (CML) WET-LEASED. IN ZULU, "KULULA" MEANS "EASY." (KUL) WILL OPERATE TO CAPE TOWN (3/DAY).
July 2001: Set up by Comair (CML) as a low-cost alternative.
August 2001: Started operations.
1st flight Johannesburg - Cape Town.
NOVEMBER 2001: COMAIR (CML) SUBSIDIARY kulula.com (KUL) OPERATES 727-230 (1023-20792, /74 61 29 ZS-NZV) IN ITS OWN GREEN AND BLUE COLOR SCHEME, TO CAPE TOWN.
DECEMBER 2001: "kulula.com" SERVICE TO DURBAN (2/DAY). "kulula.com" AIRPLANES HAVE "NOW ANYONE CAN FLY" UNDER WINDOW LINE.
November 2002: 1st flight of 1 of 3 737-436's, transferred from parent Comair (CML), to "kulula.com" to replace its 727-200's.
December 2003: kulula.com (KUL) operated its 1st MD-82 service.
3 MD-82's (1047-48059, ZS-OBH; 1135-49115, ZS-OBK; 1182-49164, ZS-OBL), Safair (SFA) wet-leased for kulula.com operations.
June 2004: 737-230 (22116, ZS-SIP), Safair (SFA) leased as a back-up airplane.
October 2004: Kulula.com, Cape Town - Port Elizabeth.
November 2004: Uses Comair (CML)'s (IATA) Flight Code: MN for its flight numbers.
December 2004: To add a 737-200 and 2 MD-82's to its operation.
February 2005: MD-82 (48020), ex-Spirit Airlines (SPR).
September 2005: Plans to add 3 737-400's by end of 2005 to cater for growing demand.
January 2006: Kulula (KUL) discontinued service from Johannesburg to East London due to continued losses on the route because of low passenger numbers. (KUL) operated 3x-weekly. (KUL) plans on adding 3 new routes shortly and will announce 2 of them shortly. (KUL) will inaugurate service from Johannesburg to Lusaka (Zambia) on Mar 10th.
November 2007: Kululu.com (KUL) serves 12 destinations on a network linking Cape Town, Durban, East London, George, Lanseria, Post Elizabeth, and Nelspruit. It also launched services beyond its borders to Windhoek (Namibia), Lusaka (Zambia), and Harare (Zimbabwe).
Proper investment in Information Technology (IT) is a major factor to success. About 80% of (KUL)'s bookings are made online, and the airline claims it takes only two minutes to complete a booking through its website. (KUL) has carried >7 million passengers.
June 2009: See latest "logojet" - - "KUL-737-400-2009-06."
January 2010: New logojet 737-86N (28612, ZS-ZWP), in "flying 101" titles, ex-New Axis Airways (AXY) - - SEE PHOTOS - - "KUL-737-800 ZS-ZWP-2010-01-A/B/C/D/E."
February 2010: The comedians at Kulula (KUL) paint another airplane 737-8K2 (ZS-ZWO) with arrows and "THIS WAY UP."
November 2010: 737-8K2 (57-28374, ZS-ZWQ), Volito Aviation leased, ex-(PH-HZB).
February 2011: Kulula.com (KUL) flew 2.5 million passengers last year.
Comair (CML) ordered 8 737-800NGs valued at $646 million at list prices. The new airplanes will be flown by (CML)’s low-fare airline, kulula.com (KUL) and will feature the "Sky Interiors" cabin design. Launched in 2001, (KUL) operates 10 737s, a mix of NGs and Classics. "The purchase of new 737-800s is historic for our company and gives all our 1,800 staff a great feeling of pride," (CML) (CEO) Gidon Novick said. "The new fleet is an essential part of our efficiency drive, which will not only give us a cost leadership position in our industry but also provide our customers with exceptional levels of reliability and comfort with the spacious new interior."
(CML) in December phased out the last of its 12 737-200s. The 737-200s, which flew in both the kulula.com and British Airways (BAB) liveries, in aggregate clocked >200,000 flying hours and carried >15 million passengers, (CML) said.
“We’ve reached a new and exciting stage in the life of (CML), and we are pleased to welcome the new additions to our fleet, which sees us keeping abreast of technological advances while ensuring the ongoing comfort and safety of our customers,” Novick added.
In addition to the airplanes, (CML) will also purchase the Maintenance Performance Toolbox from Boeing Commercial Aviation Services — which integrates manufacturer and customer documentation, links airplane fault data to specific maintenance actions, and provides a comprehensive structural repair history for each airplane.
October 2011: Comair (CML), a British Airways (BAB) franchise partner that also owns the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) Kulula (KUL), will upgrade its reservation system to SabreSonic. It might feel the need to
enhance revenues by improving Information Technology (IT) systems given the large rise in South African airport fees.
December 2011: Kulula.com (KUL) is a low-cost carrier (LCC) operating domestic jet airplane flights in South Africa linking Johannesburg with Cape Town, Durban, George, Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth, and destinations in Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
(IATA) Code: MN. (ICAO) Code: CAW.
Parent organization/shareholders: Comair (CML) (100%).
Main base: Johannesburg O R Tambo International Airport (JNB).
Hubs: George Airport (GRJ); East London Airport (ELS); Lanseria International Airport (HLA); and Cape Town International Airport (CPT).
Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Cape Town; Durban; George; Johannesburg; Nerlspruit; & Port Elizabeth.
International destinations: Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia; Tanzania; Zambia; & Zimbabwe.
July 2012: 737-8LD (40851, ZS-ZWA), delivered to Comair (CML) in green Kulula (KUL) colors.
September 2012: Comair (CML) and its Low Cost Carrier (LCC) subsidiary, Kulula (KUL) earned a +$6 million net profit during the 1st 6 months of 2012, the 2nd half of its fiscal year, ensuring its full fiscal year will end up in the black. (CML) endured extremely high oil prices , with weaker local currency, and a +70% rise in South African airport fees which were effective in October. It also withdrew from its Johannesburg - Maputo (Mozambique) route. The (IAG) Group, including British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE) owns 11% of (CML).
November 2012: Kulula.com (KUL) will launch 2x-daily 737-800 Johannesburg Tambo - East London, South Africa service on March 1.
March 2013: Kulula.com (KUL), the South African low-cost carrier (LCC) known for surprising airplane liveries, commenced services on a new domestic route from its Johannesburg (JNB) base to East London (ELS). Located on the SE coast, East London is home to South Africa’s only river port and now enjoys 2x-daily services to Johannesburg by (KUL). Competition on the 770-km route comes from South African Airways (SAA) and Comair (CML), which offer 40 and 13 weekly flights, respectively. Nadine Damen (KUL)’s Marketing Manager, said: “We have introduced this route to meet the demand for flights in and out of East London, and to support the economic growth of the Eastern Cape.”
May 2013: Kulula Air (KUL) is set to acquire a further 4 737-800s after parent Comair (South Africa) (CML) secured financing from Investec Aviation Finance. The 4 airplanes, due in 2015, are part of an ongoing fleet renewal program at (KUL) whose added fuel efficiency helped Comair (CML) boost its interim profits and revenue during its last Financial Year. (KUL)'s fleet consists of 2 737-400s and 9 737-800s.
August 2013: Since the demise of 1time (1TA) last November, the South African domestic market has become a virtual duopoly between 2 companies, South African Airways (SAA) and Comair (CML). (SAA) operates flights under its own name, as well as its own Low Cost Carrier (LCC), Mango (MGO), while Comair (CML) operates full-service flights on behalf of British Airways (BAB), while also having its own (LCC), kulula.com (KUL).
Passenger numbers at South Africa’s 3 busiest airports (in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban) have fallen by -1.8% to 15.43 million in the 1st 6 months of 2013. Much of this can be explained by the collapse last November of 1time (1TA), a local (LCC), that had been operating primarily in the domestic market since February 2004. On the plus side, international passenger numbers at the country’s major international gateway of Johannesburg’s or Tambo International airport, have risen by +4.8% in the period January to June.
Analysis of the traffic mix at Johannesburg airport over the last decade reveals that total passenger numbers peaked in 2007 at 19.3 million. Since then domestic traffic at the airport has fallen by -13% from 11 million to 9.6 million, while international traffic has risen by +9% from 7.5 million to 8.2 million.
With 1time (1TA)’s disappearance from the domestic market, passengers now basically have a choice between South African Airways (SAA), British Airways (BAB) (operated by Comair (CML)), Mango (MGO) ((SAA)’s in-house (LCC)), and kulula.com (KUL) (Comair (CML)’s own (LCC)). In March, kulala.com (KUL) added East London to its Johannesburg network with 2x-daily flights, while Mango (MGO) added daily flights to Port Elizabeth last December, from both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
SEE ATTACHED - - "KUL-2013-09 - AIRLINE ECONOMICS."
January 2014: 737-8K2 (28373, ZS-ZWO), delivery.
March 2014: Comair (CML) has placed a firm order for 8 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, valued at $830 million at list prices - - SEE ATTACHED - - "KUL-737 MAX 8-2014-03." The order, which was placed in December 2013 and logged to an unidentified customer, marks the 1st 737 MAXs to be ordered by an African airline. Johannesburg-based, Comair (CML) said the airplanes will be used for fleet renewal and expansion.
Comair (CML) operates Africa’s 1st low cost carrier (LCC), kulula.com (KUL), offering flights to South Africa’s major cities. Comair (CML) is also the franchise partner of British Airways (BAB), operating its local and regional Southern African routes. The company currently flies an all-Boeing fleet of 25 Classic and Next-Generation 737s on its (KUL) and British Airways (BAB) (operated by Comair (CML)) brands. The order for 8 737 MAX 8s will support future fleet renewal and expansion.
April 2014: Comair (CML) low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary, kulula (KUL) has signed its 1st code share agreement with Kenya Airways (KEN). The bilateral code share, which takes effect May 1, has been approved by Kenyan and South African authorities. It builds on an interline agreement, which has been in place between the 2 carriers since 2013.
Under the new deal, kulula (KUL) will place its code on Kenya Airways (KEN)’s services between Johannesburg and Nairobi. In return, kulula (KUL) will add its partner’s designator on all its South African domestic routes (Cape Town, Durban, George, and East London). Kenya Airways (KEN) Commercial Director Gerard Clark said there is potential to expand the relationship further in the future.
Earlier in April, Comair (CML) (CEO) Erik Venter said that kulula (KUL) was eyeing potential code share opportunities as it transitions to a hybrid model to attract more corporate travelers.
Comair (CML) recently switched to a new Sabre Information Technology (IT) system, opening up the potential for new kulula (KUL) partnerships. “One opportunity that comes with Sabre is that we can now do code shares with kulula (KUL). A lot of airlines that fly to South Africa are not alliance members. If they are not partners with South African Airways (SAA) or British Airways (BAB), they have been out in the cold, so this gives up the opportunity to introduce code shares with the kulula (KUL) brand.
October 2014: kulula.com (KUL) recently became the 1st African carrier to fit a new set of Split Scimitar Winglets on 1 of its 737-800 airplanes.
August 2015: News Item A-1: South Africa’s leading low cost carrier (LCC), kulula.com (KUL), recently celebrated its 14th anniversary, having operated its 1st commercial flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg on August 1st 2001. Owned by Comair (CML), which also operates domestic flights in British Airways (BAB) colors, (KUL) now carries almost 3 million passengers per annum on a fleet of 10 737-800s. Capacity growth has been steady rather than spectacular during the last decade, with annual seats increasing by +90% between 2007 and 2014.
(KUL) currently accounts for >20% of scheduled seat capacity on South African domestic routes, ranking it 2nd after South African Airways (SAA).
- See attached - "KUL-2015-08 - South Africa Domestic Airlines.jpg."
(SAA)’s own in-house (LCC), Mango (MGO), ranks 3rd with almost 18% ahead of Comair (CML)’s British Airways branded operations, which account for a further 15%. Between them, (SAA) and (CML) control >92% of capacity in the domestic market.
At present, kulula.com (KUL) operates just 7 domestic routes
see attached ("KUL-2015-08 - Kulula Domestic Network.jpg") between 6 airports, all of which are served at least daily. As well as operating from South Africa’s busiest airport in Johannesburg, (KUL) also serves the secondary airport at Lanseria, where it is the leading carrier, offering multiple daily flights to Cape Town and Durban. It has been reported that from mid-October Mango (MGO) will also start operating on the Lanseria to Durban route.
News Item A-2: 737-800 (ZS-ZWE) with Sky Interior (see attached - "KUL-737-800 - (ZS-ZWE) - 2015-08.jpg") delivery.
May 2018: The (HNA) Group has sold its 6.2% stake in South African carrier Comair (CML) through its Netherland-based subsidiary as part of the Hainan, China-based company’s asset disposal plan, according to a (CML) filing released through the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Details about the time and price of the transaction were not released. In 2015, the (HNA) Group purchased its 6.2% stake in (CML) with an investment of $12.7 million, now worth $14 million at current market rates. The (HNA) Group has experienced financial difficulty in recent months; it is estimated the company is $94 billion in debt. To date, (HNA) has disposed of approximately $13 billion worth of assets.
(HNA) Group Chairman Chen Feng previously admitted the company faced liquidity issues when it sold 3 Hong Kong housing properties in February; in March, the (HNA) Group sold several overseas investments. The company is reportedly selling 9 housing properties in Beijing and Shanghai, worth $2.2 billion. (HNA) has also been selling shares in Deutsche Bank, Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations Inc as part of the Group’s campaign to raise cash.
Launched in July of 1946, Comair (CML) is a member of the Oneworld (ONW) Alliance and signed franchise rights agreement with British Airways (BAB) in 1996. In 1998, (CML) launched an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and became a franchise carrier for (BAB) again in 2009 with a validation period of 11 years. Coincidently, the franchise rights agreement sealed between (COI) and (BAB) expires this year. (CML) is also the parent of low cost carrier (LCC) Kulula.com (KUL).
Click below for photos:
KUL-737 MAX 8-2014-03
KUL-737-800 - ZS-ZWE - 2015-08.jpg
KUL-737-8LD - 2012-07
0 727-230 (JT8D-15) (1023-20792, /74 ZS-NZV), (SFA) LEASED, (CML) WET-LEASED 2001-09. "NOW ANYONE CAN FLY." WFU. 148Y.
0 737-230 (JT8D) (701-22116, ZS-SIP), BACK-UP AIRPLANE, (SFA) LEASED 2004-06. RETURNED.
0 737-236 (JT8D) (653-21797, ZS-NNH), DAYLIGHT SAVINGS LOGO. RETIRED.
0 737-33A (CFM56-3B2) (1831-24460, /90 ZS-OAH), (CML) WET-LEASED 2007-10. 136Y.
1 737-4H6 (CFM56-3C1) (2435-27168, /93 ZS-OAG), (CML) WET-LEASED 2007-12. 168Y.
1 737-4S3 (CFM56-3C1) (1700-244163, /89 ZS-OAO), (CML) WET-LSD 2006-06. 168Y.
1 737-4S3 (CFM56-3C1) (1736-24167, /89 ZS-OAP - SEE PHOTO - - "KUL-737-4S3 2009-12"), WITH FOOTBALL NOSE & "EUROPCAR" LOGOJET. 168Y.
1 737-4S3 (CFM56-3C1) (2061-25116, /91 ZS-OAF - SEE PHOTO), HAS TAGLINE "NO ONE SAW US COMING." 168Y.
0 737-436 (CFM56-3C1) (2147-25305, /91 ZS-OTF, 2002-01; 2197-25840, /92 ZS-OTG; 2222-25841, /92 ZS-OTH, 2002-10), EX-(BAB), 2 (SFA) LEASED, ALL (SFA) MAINTENANCE, 25840; RETURNED. 3 (CML) WET-LEASED. RETURNED. 168Y.
1 +7 ORDERS 737-800 (CFM56-7B) (ZS-ZWE, 2015-08 - SEE PHOTO), WITH SKY INTERIOR & WINGLETS.
2 737-8K2 (CFM56-7B27) (51-28373, /98 ZS-ZWO - - SEE PHOTO - - "KUL-737-8K2 2010-02" 2009-12; 57-28374, /98 ZS-ZWQ, 2010-11), EX-(TAV). 28373; GREEN & WHITE WITH ARROWS & "THIS WAY UP" ON FUSELAGE. 28374; "FLYING 101" ON FUSELAGE. WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
4 737-8LD (CFM56-7B26) (4094-40851, /12 ZS-ZWA; 4229-40852, /12 ZS-ZWB; 4252-40853, /12 ZS-ZWC; 4279-40855, /12 ZS-ZWD), WITH WINGLETS. IN NEW CORPORATE LIVERY/COLOR SCHEME. DELIVERED TO (CML) 2012-07. 186Y.
1 737-85H (CFM56-7B26) (256-28382, /99 ZS-ZWR), EX-(EC-HBM) 2011-05. WITH WINGLETS. 12C, 174Y.
1 737-86N (CFM56-7B26) (455-28612, /99 ZS-ZWP - - SEE PHOTOS - - "KUL-737-800 ZS-ZWP-2010-01-A/B/C/D/E"), EX-NEW AXIS AIRWAYS (AXY), EX-(OK-PIK), IN "FLYING 101" TITLES. WITH WINGLETS. 189Y.
1 737-86N (CFM56-7B26) (1056-32732, /02 ZS-ZWS), EX-(M-ABDO) 2011-04. WITH WINGLETS. 189Y.
8 ORDERS 737 MAX 8 (LEAP-1B):
0 MD-82 (JT8D-217C) (1001-48019, /81 ZS-OBF; 1047-48059, /82 ZS-OBH; 1135-49115, /84 ZS-OBK; 1182-49164, /85 ZS-OBL), (CML) WET-LEASED. ALL RETURNED. 150Y.
0 MD-82 (JT8D-217C) (1045-48020, ZS-OBG), EX-(SPR), (CML) WET-LEASED 2005-02. RETURNED. 150Y.
0 MD-82 (JT8D-217C) (1078-48021, /83 ZS-OPU), EX-(SPR), (CML) WET-LEASED 2005-02. RETURNED. 150Y.
Click below for photos:
ERIC VENTER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
GIDON NOVICK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
MS NADINE DAMEN, MARKETING MANAGER.