Kulula and British Airways grounded — flights cancelled

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) announced on Saturday that it suspended the Air Operator Certificate of Comair (Pty) Ltd, with its subsidiary Kulula.com.

“This decision was reached following an investigation into the recent spate of safety incidents at the operator,” the CAA stated.

“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.”

According to the CAA, Comair operations experienced occurrences ranging from engine failures, engine malfunction, and landing gear malfunctions in the past month.

“In the interest of safety, the SACAA visited the operator to investigate and determine if Comair is in compliance with applicable Civil Aviation Regulations,” it stated.

“The inspection was also aimed at reviewing Comair’s quality control management system and safety management systems to establish compliance related to reporting, analysis and follow-up on occurrences, and corrective action plans to prevent recurrence.”

The CAA said that Comair failed to produce satisfactory evidence that their systems can prevent and avert safety hazards.

Comair has until Sunday morning to meet the CAA’s requirements, failing which its certificate would be suspended indefinitely, until it can fully address the regulator’s concerns.

Comair said it believes there is no justification for the CAA’s suspension.

“Our Executive Team are engaging with the CAA on an urgent basis,” it stated.

“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 said it aims to resume its flight schedule by noon on Sunday, subject to CAA’s.

“We are re-accommodating some passengers who have been affected and will publish a list of cancelled flights shortly,” the airline said.

“Passengers will be advised via email or SMS of re-accommodations. We will do everything we can to accommodate customers affected by the suspension on other flights, prioritising vulnerable customers and those who most urgently needed to travel.”

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Kulula and British Airways grounded — flights cancelled