The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) says as long as it does not get guarantees from Comair, it’s impossible to allow the airline to continue to fly.
Thousands of passengers have been left stranded after Comair’s operations were suspended indefinitely on Sunday saying the airline did not adequately address safety issues.
The suspension of the airline has affected passengers of low-cost airline Kulula and British Airways.
Comair says it is unable to confirm when it will start flying again.
SACAA spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu says they will only allow the airline to fly again after it addresses all the safety issues.
Gwebu says, “The airline will remain suspended until they are able to close all of the findings that we have raised, so they still have two of those outstanding. But there has been active engagement between the regulator and the airline in the sense that they have been submitting the evidence but so far we have not reached a point where we are able to close the case.”
“One of the findings was closed overnight. It depends on whether they are able to submit the evidence that is required. If they do that today, the airline will be back in the air today,” added Gwebu.
Numsa dismayed by the suspension of Comair:
Earlier, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), demanded the removal of the CEO of Comair after the suspension of the airline’s operations.
Comair recently underwent cost-cutting measures, which resulted in job losses.
NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola has described the current situation at the airline as frustrating.
Hlubi-Majola says, “Recently there have been some very disturbing in air incidents which have warranted the involvement of the aviation authority. It has become very clear to us that the turnaround strategy which has been implemented by the CEO, is not working. It is a turnaround strategy that’s based on extreme cost-cutting, it has resulted in an exhausted, and overworked staff.”
Despite working through the night, Comair will not be able to resume operations today. The SACAA still needs to review documentation provided overnight. We continue to engage constructively with the SACAA.
— kulula (@kulula) March 13, 2022