SAA Grounded Planes Return To Service After SACAA Safety Audit

SAA Grounded Planes Return To Service After SACAA Safety Audit-Surge Zirc SA
SAA Planes/Photo File: Biznews

Earlier this week, some SAA, Comair and British Airways flights were grounded due to irregular findings uncovered during a recent audit of South African Airways Technical
South African Airways has announced that the majority of its aircraft that were affected by non-compliance have now been certified as compliant and have resumed operations.

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Earlier this week, some SAA, Comair and British Airways flights were grounded due to irregular findings uncovered during a recent audit of South African Airways Technical (SAAT).

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) directed Comair, SAA, and Mango, to conduct a verification exercise on their fleet of aircraft to ensure that some of the identified irregularities are not prevalent in the entire fleet.

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SAA spokesperson, Tlali Tlali, “A total of 25 aircraft were affected by the compliance revalidation process and 80-percent of those aircraft have been released back into service. The remaining aircraft are receiving attention and will return back to service soon. Whilst the operational impact of this recall was minimal in nature and manifested itself in the form of flight delays only, we still regret the inconvenience and the anxiety this may have caused to our passenger

Why were the planes grounded
On Tuesday, the Comair had eight of its domestic flights disrupted. SAA had 25 aircraft affected by the regulators’ safety audit.

The airline declined to comment on the matter. On Tuesday, SACAA revealed that it had found faults during an inspection at SAA Technical.

It then proceeded to issue a prohibition order until the faults were fixed. However, the authority declined to disclose the nature of the problems that led to the grounding.

How the airlines handled the grounding
In reaction, SAA’s maintenance unit offered SACAA a corrective plan which they accepted. The authority also welcomed the decision by “SAA and Comair to ‘self-ground’ some aircraft on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.”

SAA Technical is responsible for maintaining SAA aircrafts. They also maintain SAA’s subsidiary Mango Airlines and British Airways franchise partner Comair.

The latter also operates under the kulula.com brand. SAA was forced to cancel four domestic flights yesterday.

They remedied the situation by combining services and deploying bigger aircraft to accommodate its affected passengers. The company also sent out notices on its social media to alert passengers of alternate measures for those affected.

The state-owned flag carrier of South Africa hasn’t made an annual profit since 2011. So far, the company has been relying on the government to bail it out to allow it to operate.

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