Comair, the operator of both Britsh Airways SA and Kulula, operating licence has been indefinitely suspended following an initial 24-hours suspension to its licence on the morning of 12 March. That afternoon the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) requested additional information, which Comair claims to have provided overnight and into the early morning of 13 March 2022.
Comair is unable to confirm when it will start flying again as the SACAA needs time to review all submitted documents and satisfy themselves that the items are closed.
South African Airways quickly reacted and increased their capacity on the two most lucrative routes in South Africa. SAA assures the flying public that they have not increased fares because of Comair’s grounding. The airline has decided to deployed bigger aircraft on some Durban and Cape Town flights and will continue to do so until the current situation stabilizes.
Comair's grounding has resulted in the instant removal of 40% of the capacity out of the market, leaving many passengers stranded and unable to book flights with the other airlines as they themselves are fully booked.
The grounding was sparked by incidents suffered by Comair aircraft over the last month or so. One sincerely hopes that there is no foul play being committed by SAA and the SACAA as the grounding comes on the heels of SAA reinstating its flights from Johannesburg to Durban. Unconfirmed sources state that all affected Comair aircraft were maintained by SAA Technical, if this is indeed a fact many more questions will be raised.
As yet no statement has been released by Airlink, Cemair, Lift or FlySafair in regards to increasing their capacity to assist passengers.
We hope that all matters between the SACAA and Comair will be resolved speedily and the airline can safely resume its schedule and service the flying public.