Kulula and British Airways resuming flights in South Africa — what will happen with unused tickets

Kulula and British Airways are resuming flights on Thursday after the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) reinstated Comair’s Air Operator’s Certificate.

SACAA suspended Comair’s certificate on Saturday, 12 March 2022, resulting in the grounding of all Kulula and British Airways flights for five days.

The authority said that the airlines’ experienced concerning occurrences ranging from engine failures, engine malfunction, and landing gear malfunctions in the past month.

Initially, the suspension was precautionary and only intended to last 24 hours.

But the following day, SACAA suspended the certificate indefinitely to assess further evidence from Comair that it had met the necessary safety requirements.

The suspension led to travellers with bookings getting stranded while ticket prices on alternative airlines surged due to 40% less domestic flying capacity.

Comair CEO Glenn Orsmond said the operator had put in an immense effort over the last five days and nights to engage and work with the SACAA to restore its licence.

“Our focus is now to get our operations back to normal as quickly as possible so we can further assist our customers,” said Orsmond.

Comair explained the SACAA findings concerned the level of evidential support of some management systems and procedures relating to quality assurance processes, the structuring and personnel in the safety department and documentation flow regarding repair confirmations.

“No safety and security findings were made regarding either flight operations or maintenance,” Comair stated.

The airlines’ schedules will be restored in a phased manner, and customers were advised to check them on the airlines’ websites before coming to the airport.

Those with existing reservations would be contacted directly, while Comair would also provide updates on its social media channels.

Affected Kulula customers will receive a full credit to the value of their ticket, valid for rebooking within six months of the original reservation date and with such flight reservations valid for use within 12 months of rebooking.

Impacted customers on British Airways flights operated by Comair can rebook flights via their travel agents, Manage my Booking on ba.com, or by emailing the contact centre at [email protected].

Responses will be sent within the next seven days, Comair said.

Comair said customers who planned to fly in the next 72 hours, and had not been rebooked, should contact the contact centre on 086 043 5922  or 011 921 0222 for British Airways or 086 158 5852 for Kulula.

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Kulula and British Airways resuming flights in South Africa — what will happen with unused tickets