The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has confirmed its has grounded SA Express. The suspension was put into immediate effect on Thursday, 24 May 2018, as the carrier is no longer allowed to continue operations.
Passengers are being advised to get in touch with the airline directly.
The airline's Operator's Certificate (AoC) as well as the airline’s Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) approvals have been suspended.
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In addition, the SACAA has also suspended the Certificates of Airworthiness (CoA) for nine of the 21 aircraft being operated by the airline. The SACAA cited non-compliance in relation to 17 specific findings. The regulatory body does not however disclose full details of its audits.
SA Express now has to reapply and be issued with relevant approvals, says SACAA in relation to the "air operating certificate, and an approval for the aircraft maintenance organisation, and certificates of airworthiness for the grounded aircraft".
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Serious non-compliance uncovered
The audit was conducted over several days, with the airline failing to meet the necessary safety requirements. The SACAA also confirmed five of the non-compliance issues were rated as Level 1 - described as a "severe non-compliance or non-conformance that poses a very serious safety or security risk to the public".
“The SACAA cannot turn a blind eye to any operation where there is overwhelming evidence that safety measures are compromised, because that automatically poses serious danger for the crew, passengers, and the public at large,” says Poppy Khoza, SACAA Director of Civil Aviation.
The airline is expected to make arrangements to fly all affected aircraft back to the home base.