Kulula and British Airway flights

A Kulula plane sits on the tarmac. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Govt weighs in on British Airways, Kulula flights suspension

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has now entered the debate on the suspension of all British Airways and Kulula flights.

Kulula and British Airway flights

A Kulula plane sits on the tarmac. Image via Wikimedia Commons

The South African Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to temporarily suspend the operating certificate of all Comair flights has caused quite the panic among many travellers. Comair operates all British Airways and Kulula flights in South Africa. After bits and pieces of information as to the reasoning came out on Saturday, the Department of Transport has now had its say.

Kulula and British Airways flights suspended

The CAA has suspended Comair’s operating certificate for 24 hours over a recent “spate of safety incidents”.

In a statement from the Department of Transport, government says it’s been advised that the suspension was done as a “precautionary measure”.

“This action follows a series of safety incidents, involving British Airways Comair & Kulula.com, which led the regulator to conduct a safety oversight inspection to determine compliance with the Civil Aviation Regulations.”

The department says Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has been advised that the decision was taken after Comair did not address certain safety issues.

“The safety issues identified by the regulator, which are non-compliant with the regulations, led to its decision to suspend the operator’s Air Operator Certificate, effectively grounding the entire fleet.”

The CAA has said that the issues relate to landing gear malfunctions. Earlier this month, a Kulula flight was forced to make an emergency landing while heading to Cape Town.

South Africa’s “impeccable” safety record

The Department is seemingly throwing its weight behind the suspension. It highlights how the country’s “robust aviation safety regime” ensures full compliance by airlines.

Mbalula and his department insist that they will ensure compliance with the safety prescripts without “fear, favour or prejudice”

Comair says there is no basis for the suspension and is engaging with the CAA.

Everyone with a Kulula or BA flight has been told to not travel to the airport unless they book a flight with a different airline.