Many flights from the SA Airways and its subsidiaries such as Comair have canceled flights because an audit report showed that aircraft were forbidden to take off.
The SA Aerospace Technical Division released the audit, which shows that there are “irregularities” that emerged with the audit.
Exactly what irregularities at SAL Technically led to the booths of dozens of aircraft, remains unclear.
Large-scale confusion prevailed at local airports on Tuesday after airlines were forced to cancel or delay domestic flights following a notice issued by the South African Civil Aviation Authority related to the “finding of irregularities” that must be corrected first.
Informed sources say SAA, Kulula, Mango and Comair airlines were affected, passengers had to be shuffled around on Tuesday after some of the aircrafts were not allowed to take off for safety reasons. South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has informed shipping companies of “irregularities” detected during a recent SAL Technical Review. SAL Technically provides maintenance and technical services to the airlines.
According to Comair, “affected aircraft may not be flown until the necessary corrective action has been taken. The SAA, Mango and later also the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa), issued similar statements during the morning. Travelers where worned to contact the particular service they are going to fly with to confirm on which flight they are.
According to all airlines, the safety of passengers is highly appreciated and therefore the requirements of the CAA are met. However, none of the airlines have clarified exactly what the problem was or how many of their planes were left stranded.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula explained on Tuesday afternoon that SAL Technically submitted an action plan to the CAA to rectify any defects in its systems, which the CAA is satisfied with. He could not explain exactly the irregularities found by the CAA in an audit at SAL Technical, but promised everything would be back to normal by the end of the week.
Mbalula was unable to provide specific technical details on the problems that the CAA had raised.
He explained that the airlines themselves decided to keep some of their aircraft on the ground as a precaution.
He admitted that the CAA had already issued a warning to SAL Technical on October 12 that technical aspects should be corrected in its operations.
Comair confirmed four of its planes were back in the air during Tuesday morning, while all of its planes are expected to fly again on Wednesday.
He said about a third of his flights were affected by the notice on Tuesday.
According to Comair’s website, some of the passengers were moved to flights that departed earlier than they had originally booked.
Network24 has the O.R. Visit Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. Although some passengers had to wait for their flights to be sorted out during the morning, there was no significant disruption at the airport.
David Maynier, Western Cape’s Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, said he visited Cape Town International Airport on Tuesday and found the airport was managing the disruption of flights quite well. It is expected that flights will resume on Wednesday.