SA Express grounded after non-compliance with safety protocols

The Civil Aviation Authority says the airline failed to adequately address concerns that it raised.

FILE: SA Express plane. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has suspended South African Express 's air operator certificate due to the airline's non-compliance with safety protocols.

The suspension is effective from today; which means no passengers will be able to board an SA Express plane until the company has complied with its requirements.

The SACAA has not specified the breaches by SA Express but says the airline failed to adequately address concerns that it raised earlier this month.

The civil aviation's Simon Segwabe says the decision to ground SA Express was taken in the interest of the safety of crew and passengers.

"This year we conducted an audit on the South African Express operation on 19 and 20 April. They were then required to provide us with a correct defection plan on 29 April. The company did submit the correct defection plan. However, we found it inadequate whereby it could not give us adequate assurance that the operator is conducting a safe operation."

At the same time, SA Express says it is working with the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure the airline is granted permission to operate again and management has called on passengers to be patient while they urgently sort out the problem.

Segwabe says they don't want to take any chances and had to temporarily halt the airline's operations.

"Our auditor is seeking to check whether those control or monitory measures are effective enough. Should we find that there are deficiency in the system we can therefore not allow further operation until those deficiencies are addressed."