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'Tourism can't afford this': minister hopes Comair will fly again soon

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
Comair's kulula and BA flights have been suspended after a spate of incidents. Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu Sisulu has noted the sharp increase in domestic airfares as seats became scarce after the grounding. File photo.
Comair's kulula and BA flights have been suspended after a spate of incidents. Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu Sisulu has noted the sharp increase in domestic airfares as seats became scarce after the grounding. File photo.
Image: SUNDAY TIMES

Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu says she hopes the issues between Comair and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) can be resolved soon.

Sisulu said this on Monday after all Comair flights were grounded indefinitely at the weekend.

On Saturday, Sacaa announced the suspension of Comair’s air operation certificate (AOC) after a number of safety-related occurrences. The airline’s AOC was initially suspended for 24 hours but Sacaa said on Sunday it was suspending it “indefinitely”.

“This comes at a bad time as families are preparing for school holidays and holidaymakers are planning Easter getaways. However, our main concern is the effect this will have on tourism and the entire hospitality value chain,” Sisulu said.

The ministry said Comair flights equate to about 40% of the country’s aviation capacity.

Comair operates the budget airline kulula.com and the local British Airways franchise.

Sisulu also raised concern at the increase in airfares on domestic routes after the Sacaa announcement.

“I would like the issues between Comair and Sacaa to be resolved soon, as the tourism industry cannot afford any further discouragements,” Sisulu said.

TimesLIVE


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