Audit disrupts South African Airways, Comair flights

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African Airways (SAA) and British Airways partner Comair (J:) were forced to reschedule at least a dozen domestic flights on Tuesday after an inspection of an SAA maintenance subsidiary used by both carriers revealed irregular findings.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) made irregular findings at South African Airways Technical during a recent audit and said some aircraft could not be flown until corrective action had been taken, Comair said in a statement.

Comair did not elaborate, and a SACAA spokesman said the authority would issue a statement soon.

“SAA understands that the inspection conducted by SACAA was in accordance with its regulations and a necessary exercise to ensure compliance and safety,” said cash-strapped SAA, which is dependent on government bailouts for its survival.

SAA said it had recalled some of its aircraft but did not specify how many.

It said it had canceled four domestic flights but that it would combine flights and deploy bigger aircraft to accommodate affected passengers.

Comair, which flies under both the British Airways and kulula.com brands in southern Africa, said that as of 10:15 a.m. local time (0815 GMT) a third of its services had been affected.

Kulula.com’s website showed that eight domestic flights had been rescheduled, one under the kulula.com brand and seven under the British Airways brand.

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