Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

CemAir has vowed it would get back into the sky swiftly following the grounding of its aircraft by the SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) on Friday.

The halting of passenger flights for the OR Tambo-based airline came after certificates of airworthiness were withdrawn for 24 hours — a period of time that expires at 5am on Saturday.

The decision to withdraw the certificates came after aviation inspectors found during an audit that some of the aircraft services by the airline’s maintenance organisation were released back into service or cleared as airworthy by unqualified personnel.

But in a statement released on CemAir’s social media channels on Friday‚ the airline described the saga as a "paperwork discrepancy".

"CemAir is working with the (Sacaa) to resolve the issue as expeditiously as possible. The airline is making alternate arrangements for passengers on its flights on Friday‚ February 2 2018.

"Once further information is available this will be communicated as soon as possible. CemAir remains committed to serving our passengers and regrets the inconvenience caused by the interruption of service‚" the statement said.

CemAir flies to Bloemfontein‚ George‚ Cape Town‚ Hoedspruit‚ Margate‚ Plettenberg Bay and Port Elizabeth.

Sacaa said that while it understood passengers would have disruptions for passengers‚ it was important to ensure the airline’s safety was beyond reproach.

It said getting the all-clear from unqualified personnel posed "an imminent danger for crew members‚ passengers‚ and the public at large‚ and has a direct impact on aviation safety‚ since the airworthiness status of the aircraft concerned cannot be confirmed or is questionable".

CemAir had given its full co-operation‚ the authority said.