British Airways planes grounded in South Africa over safety fears Business

British Airways jets in South Africa have been grounded “indefinitely” by the country’s aviation regulator over fears of engine failures and landing gear malfunctions.

Comair, which runs British Airways-branded services across southern Africa, has been suspended from flying since Saturday.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority extended a temporary indefinite ban a day later.

The regulator said: “Comair’s operations have experienced events ranging from engine failures, engine malfunctions and landing gear malfunctions, among others.”

In the “interest of safety,” officials had to investigate the issues and give Comair the opportunity to answer questions.

The airline said it responded to questions. Chief executive Glenn Orsmond said: ‘We have since received an acknowledgment that the information has been received, but no further formal communication has been received to date.

“This is a blow to our customers, our employees and the flying public, as it effectively takes 40% of capacity out of the market. The implications for the aviation sector and the country are considerable if the suspension were to continue for any length of time. »

Comair is South Africa’s largest regional carrier with a fleet of 26 Boeings, mostly 737-800s. It operates services to 10 destinations on behalf of British Airways, which also include Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Mauritius. It also operates under another brand, Kulula.

The carrier has been forced to cancel flights, leaving passengers stranded.

Mr Orsmond said: ‘Our priority now is to help stranded passengers. We have chartered two planes to help vulnerable passengers and those most in need of urgent travel. »

British Airways declined to comment.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-16 10:44:05

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