British Airways-branded flights operated by Comair in South Africa have been suspended for at least 24 hours after the airline’s air operators certificate was suspended following a “spate of safety events” in recent weeks.
Both British Airways and Comair’s Kulula services are affected by the flight cancellation. The suspension has no effect on international British Airways flights operated by the mainline business in London.
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) claimed it was forced to act after three ‘Level 1’ discoveries were discovered during examinations into a series of recent incidents. A Level 1 result is considered a “immediate risk,” and flight operations should be halted right once.
“Just in the past month, Comair operations experienced occurrences ranging from engine failures, engine malfunction and landing gear malfunctions, amongst others,” the CAA said in a statement on Saturday.
Comair has until Sunday to complete a variety of standards, or its flight operations will be suspended indefinitely, according to the regulator.
Comair said it was “engaging and working with the CAA on an urgent basis to get the ban lifted” in a statement.
“We are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our customers and are doing our utmost to restore operations as soon as possible.”
A Kulula flight was forced to divert a week ago owing to “engine troubles,” while a British Airways-branded plane was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff from East London two weeks ago when the landing gear failed to retract.
Another Kulula plane had to make an emergency landing last month after an engine failure shortly after takeoff.
Inspectors discovered “irregular discoveries” during a visit to a third-party repair facility in 2019, prompting Comair to stop some of its jets.
Comair is a British Airways franchise partner that offers domestic and regional flights throughout South Africa. Kulula is Comair’s low-cost airline that flies domestically.