Comair’s -Kulula and British Airways back on air

AFTER THOUSANDS of travellers were left stranded at the Ushaka Internatiomal Airport last Sunday as a result of cancelled flights, it’s all systems go now.

Comair- that operates both Kulula and British Airways were found wanting last week when the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) grounded its planes indefinitely for unresolved safety issues, suspending its air operator certificate and stranding hundreds of passengers.

This means it will start operating flights on Thursday, 17 March, after the aviation regulator reinstated its certificate.

Fortunately, I was not part of the flying team that had attended the 15th South African Sport Awards at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli- Durban Int’l Convention Center on Saturday evening.

Frantic calls were made by irate passengers who upon arrival at the airport, were told the operator had cancelled flights to both Cape Town and Joburg.  A well-known female soccer supporter and entrepreneur (Mamello) was amongst part of the frustrated passengers, who said she will never use either of the airlines in future.

On Wednesday, SACAA gave green lights to Comair.

“After a thorough review of Comair’s documentation, the SACAA has lifted the precautionary suspension of Comair’s licence,” Chief Executive Glenn Orsmond said in a statement late on Wednesday.

“We’re pleased that the situation is finally resolved.”

The airline aims to restore normal operations as soon as possible to assist customers, he added.

The regulator said its investigation turned up three findings that “pose an immediate risk” to be tackled immediately.

Comair said no safety and security findings were made on flight operations or maintenance, adding that the regulator’s findings related to quality assurance, the structure and personnel of the safety department and repair documentation.

Comair’s suspension took out 40% of market capacity, prompting competition authorities to warn other airlines against price gouging after complaints of large price increases.

This week some of the employees took to streets and headed to the company’s head-office protesting on job losses and unfair treatment by the Comair.

Image (Kulula back on air).

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