On the 14th of December Cem Air posted this Press Release on its Facebook page:
"CemAir deeply regrets that the CAA has issued an indefinite suspension of our Air Operating Certificates. This means that we cannot conduct commercial flights until further notice.
We adamantly reject the reasons offered by the CAA for their decision. We are an airline deeply committed to safety and excellence, and have offered multiple reasonable solutions to the CAA’s stated concerns, all of which have been rejected, an indication of a malicious intent by the CAA to bring CemAir to its knees by grounding it unnecessarily at peak season.
At this stage our hands are tied and we cannot offer alternative solutions to our customers. As such we advise you to book an alternative journey to your destinations and we will advise at the soonest possible time about a refund process for your booking with CemAir.
We again apologise to our customers for the inconvenience, frustration and cost that this has and will cause at such a special time of year. We work hard to ensure that our business is part of your great holiday experience, so we can only offer our sincerest apologies for this situation.
We will advise you as soon as we can. Please be patient as we work out the best possible solution to honor you as our clients in this situation.
We thank you for your understanding and support over the years.
Further press releases will be issued in due course
Plating Carrier – 5Z (CemAir PTY Ltd)IATA Accounting Code: 225Linked BSP: ZA, UK & Germany."
13 December 2018 - The South African Civil Aviation Authority has grounded local carrier CemAir, issuing it with an Air Operator Certificate Prohibition Order, with immediate effect.
SACAA says the order is in place until Thursday, 13 December 2018 for 24hrs prohibiting the airline from operating until it is able to submit proof of compliance in order to avoid having its Air Operator Certificates revoked.
The airline operates routes between Johannesburg, Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay, Bloemfontein, Sishen Kathu, Margate. Traveller24 has contacted the airline for comment but has yet to receive a response.
Affected passengers are advised to keep in contact with their booking agents or the airline directly.
The reason for the grounding is "severe non-compliance or non-conformance that poses a very serious safety risk to the public and necessitates is the reason for the grounding", according to an SACAA statement.
In addition to this, non-compliances by CemAir included "not being able to produce nor demonstrate the appointment of an approved and qualified person for a critical position as required by the Civil Aviation Regulations, related to Flight Operations.
While an employee was appointed by CemAir, the SACAA says the person was not suitably qualified and gave it 30 days to appoint a new person. This period has now lapsed.
The SACAA has deemed this malpractice, "intentionally violating applicable Civil Aviation Regulations".
In February of this year, the airline had aircraft grounded due to safety concerns by the SACAA, forcing it to charter third-party aircraft to enhance capacity - read the update here.
"Their actions in this regard therefore pose an immediate and serious safety hazard and risk to the public at large as well as other airspace users and its crew, and passengers. This decision, which regrettably affects travellers, is made in the interests of advancing aviation safety."
The SACAA’s says it will provide any assistance possible to the operator, and within the Regulator’s mandate, in order to ensure that the matter is resolved as soon as possible.
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