'6 groundings in 2.5 years suggest overreaction or maintenance is falling apart'

South African Airways (SAA) and Comair (operator of British Airways and Kulula.com) grounded flights on Tuesday as a precaution after inspections by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA).

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed SA Flyer Magazine Managing Editor Guy Leitch.

It is the sixth grounding in the past two-and-a-half years, according to Leitch.

There were no aircraft groundings in the decade before that.

Picture courtesy of Adrian Pingstone (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Arpingstone)

It is indeed [worrying]… It would suggest aircraft maintenance is falling apart very badly or the SACAA is overreacting… we would rather the SACAA overreact…

Guy Leitch, Managing Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

My take on the current episode is that it’s a paperwork issue, because if there were real problems with parts – as widely speculated - it would’ve taken longer than 24 hours to clear up… if it’s just paperwork, surely they could’ve sorted it out without grounding the airlines?

Guy Leitch, Managing Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

The Sunday Times article talking about international gangs and syndicates undermining SAA Technical’s parts suggests that where there’s smoke there’s fire. Because of these groundings, it confirms people’s worst fears…

Guy Leitch, Managing Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

If BA decides that the risk of dodgy maintenance is too high, they simply cut away the franchise. It’ll leave Comair high and dry…

Guy Leitch, Managing Editor - SA Flyer Magazine

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