Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

CemAir has restored some of its scheduled flights after a temporary grounding order by the South African Civil Aviation Authority in February interrupted the regional airline’s service.

The authority issued the order because some of Cemair’s 12 small jet and turbo-jet aircraft had been serviced and declared airworthy by unauthorised personnel, which had posed an "imminent danger". Cemair said at the time that all its personnel were highly qualified, but that some were not internally authorised and that they had been suspended while the company was investigating.

Cemair said on Monday its popular daily flight between Johannesburg and Margate had been reinstated from last Wednesday. It also said its daily flights to Sishen and Hoedspruit would continue, as well as its double daily flights between Johannesburg and Bloemfontein.

The carrier expected to restore a limited service between Johannesburg and Plettenberg Bay. It would make an announcement on the reintroduction of flights between Plettenberg Bay and Cape Town on March 15.

It did not say what aircraft it would be using for the services.

The aviation authority said on February 24 that it had lifted "with immediate effect" the suspension of CemAir’s Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) approval after the airline’s completion of a certification process that included document evaluation. It said, however, the status quo relating to Cemair’s 12 aircraft remained, which meant they were yet to be declared airworthy by the authority.

The lifting of the AMO suspension meant Cemair could now officially maintain its own and other operators’ aircraft for which they were approved.

CemAir’s safety compliance has been recognised by the International Air Transport Association, which requires members to pass a biennial operational safety audit. CemAir renewed its accreditation in September 2017 and is on the airline association’s register of approved airlines.

blomn@businesslive.co.za