Four airlines operating in South Africa were forced to delay flights and ground some planes after inspections were carried out overnight.
State-owned South African Airways and Mango were affected as was Comair, which operates Kulula and British Airways domestically, according to statements. It’s not routine for airlines in South Africa to suffer simultaneous groundings, but it’s not yet clear whether passenger safety has been at risk or what the technical issues involve.
South African Airways said it will operate an amended flight schedule Tuesday for compliance checks in line with South African Civil Aviation Authority requirements. The decision followed an oversight inspection conducted by the authority at South African Airways Technical, which oversees the maintenance for a number of carriers, according to the airline.
Some flights will operate later than usual and four domestic flights have been canceled, but the airline will combine flights and deploy bigger aircraft to accommodate affected passengers, it said.
“Yesterday evening, the South African Civil Aviation Authority issued a notice related to irregular findings picked up during a recent audit of our maintenance and technical service provider, South African Airways Technical,” Comair said in a separate statement.
“At of 10:15 this morning a third of Comair’s services have been affected due to the notice received from the SACAA,” said Comair in a later statement.
“We are continuously updating our contingency plans and communicating with our customers by SMS, however to avoid unnecessary frustration, customers can check revised departure times on kulula.com, ba.com or Comair.co.za …We are actively working with SAAT and SACAA to find a speedy solution.”
Kutlwano Mtyeku, a spokesman for Airports Company South Africa, wasn’t immediately able to comment.
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