SAA was denied request to fetch J&J vaccine due to lack of safety details

The Aviation Authority said it denied SAA's initial request to take to the sky on Sunday due to SAA's failure to provide adequate details on safety mitigation measures for the crew deck.

The first batch of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine arrived at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on 16 February 2021. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) granted South African Airways (SAA) an exemption application after the embattled airline requested to fly to Brussels to fetch Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

However, the authority said it denied SAA's initial request to take to the sky on Sunday due to SAA's failure to provide adequate details on safety mitigation measures for the crew deck.

The vaccines were instead flown into the country by TUI charter flights on Tuesday.

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The authority said it also considered that SAA voluntarily ceased operations due to its ongoing challenges.

It said the exemption was granted following a second application on the basis that SAA technical performed the necessary maintenance on the flight.

“Any operator who is not conducting regular flights, or their aircraft are not conducting regular services for one reason or another, it is expected to conduct the required maintenance on the aircraft which may include preservation and return to service maintenance,” said the authority's Poppy Khoza.

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