The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has reinstated South African Express’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC)‚ clearing the way for the airline to resume operations.
The announcement comes just over a month after the regional airline managed to get its Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) approval successfully reinstated by the SACAA.
“With these two crucial certificates successfully reinstated‚ this means that SA Express can now conduct scheduled commercial operations as an airline‚” the aviation authority said in a statement on Thursday.
“In addition to successfully reinstating its AOC and AMO certificates‚ South African Express has also managed to get Certificates of Airworthiness for two of its aircraft. As such‚ the airline is in the meantime permitted to operate with only two of its aircraft‚” SACAA added.
SA Express’s AOC and AMO approvals as well as the certificates of airworthiness (CoA) for nine of the twenty-one aircraft on the airline’s books were suspended on May 24 following an audit conducted by the SACAA which uncovered severe cases of non-compliance that posed serious safety risks.
In order to be allowed to operate as an airline again‚ SA Express had to undertake recertification processes for both the AOC and AMO approvals. The airline also had to ensure that all aircraft earmarked for operations had a Certificate of Airworthiness.
“A key message to all operators and aviation personnel is that financial sustainability must always be carefully balanced with the need to uphold‚ at all times‚ acceptable levels of aviation safety and security. If the scale is heavily tilted towards one end‚ the air transport network as we all know it today‚ will cease to exist‚” cautioned Director of Civil Aviation Poppy Khoza.