Aviation authority grounds Comair and SAA planes

SA Airways (SAA) has warned customers of possible disruption of flights, after the aviation authority recalled some aircraft.
Image: SAA

Passengers are warned of possible disruptions at Comair and SA Airways (SAA), after the SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) grounded some planes.

According to Comair, its planes were grounded after a notice was issued relating to irregularities found during an audit of its maintenance and technical service provider.

The airline said it has contingency plans in place and aims to minimise any disruption to its operations.

Kulula and British Airways customers are urged to check their flight status on the websites, ba.com and kulula.com.

“We do apologise to our customers for any inconvenience to their travel plans and appreciate their support.

“We are working closely with Saat (SA Airways Technical) to rectify the findings and get our flights back on schedule as soon as possible,” Comair said.

SAA also warned customers of possible disruptions, after the aviation authority recalled some aircraft to undertake compliance verification.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said the decision was made after an oversight inspection conducted by the aviation authority at the airline’s maintenance subsidiary, Saat.

Tlali said flights are expected to operate later than usual and SAA has implemented contingency plans to ensure business continuity.

He said there were four domestic flight cancellations, but the airline took steps to combine flights and deploy bigger aircraft to accommodate affected passengers.

The Sunday Times previously reported that the airline refuted claims that Saat used fake parts on aircraft it services.

This comes after a Mango flight made an emergency landing at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg in September.

A preliminary “serious incident report” by the Sacaa highlighted a defective replacement motor with a service history that “could not be determined with certainty”.

The board at SAA denied claims by SAA’s legal, risk and compliance executive Vusi Pikoli that the airline had been infiltrated by an international crime syndicate that had looted hundreds of millions of rands through questionable tenders, including the supply of possibly suspect parts.

Pikoli told the Sunday Times the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had revived organised crime and serious corruption investigations at the airline.




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