SAA recalls some flights to undertake compliance verification

The cash-strapped state-owned enterprise said this decision follows an oversight inspection conducted by the SACAA at SAA’s maintenance subsidiary, South African Airways Technical (SAAT).

Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Airways (SAA) on Tuesday announced that it made a decision to recall some of its aircraft to undertake compliance verification, which may result in it operating an amended flight schedule.

The cash-strapped state-owned entity said this decision followed an oversight inspection conducted by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) at SAA’s maintenance subsidiary, South African Airways Technical (SAAT).

SAA’s Tlali Tlali said: “Some of the flights will operate later than usual, however, SAA has implemented its contingency plans to ensure that it minimises the impact on its customers and to ensure business continuity.”

Mango Airlines said some of its flights may be delayed because it was affected by the grounding of SAA planes.

At the same time, Comair said four of its eight flights, which were grounded, were back in service and it expected full operations by Wednesday morning.

Earlier this month, the Sunday Times reported that a Mango Boeing nosedived during a flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town in September.

The publication reported that a preliminary report showed a defective replacement motor with a service history that "could not be determined with certainty".

The Sunday paper reported that SAA, and Hawks sources, informed them that it was investigating US and French aviation supply and maintenance companies, including staff in the country.

The state-owned entity responded to the report, saying it wished to assure customers that all components and parts were procured from approved suppliers and all supporting documentation complied with the SACAA requirements on components.

It strongly denied claims that it was being supplied with dodgy aircraft parts or components.

“Whilst any acts of criminality cannot be ruled out, it is untrue that there is a known international crime syndicate that has infiltrated SAA or SAAT that is responsible for tender manipulation and/or corruption at SAA or SAAT. There is no link, direct or indirect, between the aircraft incident involving the Mango flight reported on and matters that are currently under investigation at SAAT.”