Safety Concern: South Africa’s Aviation Regulator SACAA Grounds ComAir Fleet “Indefinitely”

South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has grounded Comair, a British Airways franchisee, “indefinitely.”

In a statement, the SACAA had noted that the airline failed to address safety issues. The grounding of the airline reportedly affects British Airways and the low-cost airline Kulula.

SACAA spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu noted that the SACAA had given a 24-hour cautionary suspension of the airline’s operator certificate. The suspension was to have ended on Sunday, but the regulator noted that Comair had not addressed all the safety concerns raised.

Among the safety concerns raised are “engine failures, engine malfunction, and landing gear malfunctions.”

As a result, the SACAA has suspended the airline’s license indefinitely.

Speaking to Reuters soon after, SACAA spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu noted that the Authority had communicated to the airline that its license has been suspended indefinitely pending the addressing of all the safety concerns.

Reacting to the suspension, Glenn Orsmond, Comair’s chief executive, noted that it was a huge blow to the customers of the airline, as well as employees and the general public as it “takes 40 percent of the capacity out of the market.”

It remains to be seen how soon Comair will address the issues raised and get back its license.

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