Regulator grounds Kulula and British Airways flights in South Africa

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has grounded all Comair flights in South Africa.

In a statement on Saturday (12 March), Comair said its Kulula and British Airways flights have been suspended, with the grounding expected to last for 24 hours.

“Comair regrets that our flights have been suspended by the CAA for 24 hours. This will affect both British Airways (operated by Comair). Our Executive Team are engaging with the CAA on an urgent basis. Comair believes there is no justification for the suspension,” it said.

“All passengers booked for Saturday 12 March 2022 are advised not to travel to the airport unless you are able to make a booking on an alternate carrier. Comair deeply regrets the inconvenience caused and we are doing our utmost to restore our operations as soon as possible. All updates will be posted on our social media channels as they become available.”

A civil aviation authority spokesperson told TimesLive that the grounding was due to safety concerns around Comair’s planes.

“This decision was reached after an investigation into the recent spate of safety incidents at the operator,” it said.

“This is a precautionary suspension for a period of 24 hours, within which the operator must demonstrate to the regulator that the risk and safety management systems are effective in managing potential hazards.”

Comair went into business rescue in May 2020 after the Covid-19 pandemic decimated the airline and travel industry. It resumed flying in December 2020, while in business rescue.

It has subsequently been forced to start and stop flight several times in the last 18 months due to ongoing lockdown restrictions.

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