Why the CAA reinstated SA Express's operating licence, and are they now safe?

Simon Segwabe, Executive Aviation Safety operations South African Civil Authority (CAA) explained to Stephen Grootes why the authority reissued SA AIrlink's licence.

Segwabe says they conducted a safety oversight audit on the 19th April.

When they received the responding corrective measures plan from SA Express, the CAA found it to be inadequate.

After meetings, the CAA decided to suspend the airline's operating licence.

Stephen Grootes asked Segwabe whether the licencing issue was about paperwork or about safety?

It is beyond paperwork. We expected them to provide us with evidence , in the absence of paperwork...evidence to show that the work that was meant to be done, had been done.

Simon Segwabe, Executive Aviation Safety operations South African Civil Authority

But at that stage, says Segwabe, the airline could not provide evidence.

After a series of weekend meetings between the CAA and SA Express, and four submissions later, the aviation body decided to reissue their licence.

Segwabe says they intend to increase oversight monitoring of SA Express and will be paying far closer attention.

He denies any pressure from government to get this state owned airline back in the air.

Inati Ntshanga, CEO of SA Express, told Stephen Grootes that the airline is safe.

The airline is safe to fly for our passengers and we apologise for the inconvenience caused over the weekend. We should have clarified all the issues asked for by the CAA.

Inati Ntshanga, CEO of SA Express

Ntshanga insists that the reason for the multiple re submissions before they got it right was due to "talking across from each other.

Once they all met, and clarified what was needed, he says things were able to be resolved.

We take safety very seriously and are busy improving all areas of paperwork and reporting..

Inati Ntshanga, CEO of SA Express

Nthshanga says the airline is more business oriented, so they are busier on week days. So only about 3000 passengers were effected by the shut down over the weekend. And, he says, the money the airline lost was not a big amount.

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