The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) reinstated Comair’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) on the evening of March 16, 2022, ending a five-day long suspension.
This means that the airline, which operates under the British Airways livery and runs low-cost carrier, Kulula.com, can now restart commercial operations.
“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,” Glenn Orsmond, CEO of Comair, announced in a statement dated March 16, 2022.
According to the airline, Comair flight schedules will be restored in a phased manner.
On March 12, 2022, the SACAA suspended Comair’s AOC as a precautionary measure. However, on March 13, 2022, the South African regulator suspended the operator’s license indefinitely due to “the cause of a spate of occurrences affecting a concerning number of flights operated by Kulula.com and BA Comair.”
Following the Comair audit, which started on March 7, 2022, the regulator raised three Level 1 and one Level 2 findings.
According to the authority, “a level 1 finding is an outcome which poses an immediate risk to safety and security, and it must be closed with immediate effect and a level 2 finding must be closed within 7 days”.
Throughout the five-day suspension, the regulator inspected “Comair’s safety management systems (SMS) and quality control management system (QA) to establish compliance related to the reporting, analysis and follow-up on occurrences, and corrective action plans to prevent recurrence”.
“The impact of this outcome paves the way for the Director of Civil Aviation to uplift the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) of Comair with immediate effect,” the SACAA announced in a statement on March 16, 2022.
The authority highlighted that safety was a top priority.