Beleaguered airline CemAir is expected to take to the skies again in the coming weeks, while it continues to process a backlog of outstanding refunds from when it was grounded last year.
The airline’s operations were suspended in December 2018 at the height of the festive season by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), citing safety concerns.
More than nine months later, many customers have not received their refunds or any communication from the airline.
CemAir CEO Miles van der Molen says that thousands of refunds have been issued and the process is ongoing.
Van der Molen explains that some categories of refunds have been more difficult than others because the bookings were made via third parties.
According to the CEO, validating each refund claim has become a difficult task in light of growing fraudulent claims which have cropped up.
We're doing our best to reply to all the correspondence we get... we certainly haven't been quiet.— Miles van der Molen, CEO - CemAir
In April this year, the court found that the grounding of CemAir by the CAA was irrational. The grounding was overturned.
Since then, the airline has been waiting for its renewal audit process to be finalised so that it will be issued with the necessary operating certificates or approvals.
Van der Molen says this could be concluded as soon as Friday 4 October.
We believe we're at the end of the process now which is being handled by different officials at the CAA.— Miles van der Molen, CEO - CemAir
The CEO says officials will asses whether reputational damage will affect passenger numbers when the airline takes to the skies again.
We have been vindicated. I hope people understand that it was beyond our control. There was no avaition that needed to be fixed here.— Miles van der Molen, CEO - CemAir
Listen to the full discussion on ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : CemAir planes getting ready for takeoff again, CEO says refunds being processed