After the country’s civil aviation safety commission removed an indefinite grounding over various safety concerns, British Airways flights operated by franchise operator Comair in South Africa are once again operating.
Comair’s Air Operators Certificate was reissued by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) late Wednesday evening, and the airline had already gotten some of its planes back in the air by Thursday morning.
Comair uses Boeing 737 single-aisle aircraft to offer British Airways branded domestic flights in South Africa, as well as some regional routes. Kulula, South Africa’s low-cost domestic airline, is also owned and operated by the airline.
On Sunday, the airline’s AOC was revoked indefinitely as safety officials examined reams of information to ensure the airline’s safety. It came after an inquiry revealed a major ‘Level 1’ safety issue that required urgent grounding.
The CAA grounded Comair for 24 hours on Saturday, but regulators didn’t have enough time to analyze all of the evidence before the suspension ended.
“We’re pleased that the situation is finally resolved, following an immense effort over five days and nights to engage and work with the SACAA,” commented Comair’s chief executive Glenn Orsmond.
“After a thorough review of Comair’s documentation, the SACAA has lifted the precautionary suspension of Comair’s license. Our focus is now to get our operations back to normal as quickly as possible so we can further assist our customers,” he continued.
Regulators had found comer’s evidence keeping and quality assurance methods to be safe, but no concerns about flight operations or maintenance had been raised, according to Orsmond.
After many emergency situations involving Comair-operated flights in just a few weeks, the regulator requested an investigation.
Comair has criticized the decision to remove so much capacity from the market in such a short period of time, stranding thousands of customers. The CAA, on the other hand, has defended its position, claiming that regulators spent “sleepless nights” analyzing the material.
“South Africa holds a very high-performance record in terms of the standards of safety and security,” the CAA said in a statement.
“According to ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organisation), South Africa’s safety index is rated at level +1 which means that based on South Africa’s performance in the areas of operations, support, and air navigation the country is rated above average.”