JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — South Africa's Comair has shifted MRO (Maintenance Repair Overhaul) services of its British Airways and Kulula away from Lufthansa Technik Maintenance International (LTMI) to South African Airways Technical (SAAT).

Comair currently uses both SAAT and LTMI to maintain its British Airways and Kulula fleets.

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) had suspended Comair’s flights for five days last week after a series of incidents.

Although LTMI passed a routine audit by the SACAA last month, an unscheduled review by the SACAA last week resulted in several findings that had to be addressed by Monday evening or LTMI's Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) license would be suspended, a Comair statement said.

The company said it is acting pre-emptively to prevent customer inconvenience.
On March 19, one of Comair's British Airways flights from Gqeberha struggled to land at Cape Town International Airport, following an issue with its landing gear indicator.

In mid-February, an engine-related problem forced a flight from Lanseria to Cape Town to divert to OR Tambo International and on 21 February a British Airways flight from East London to Johannesburg had to make an emergency landing due to faulty landing gear.

“Our priority at the moment is to restore a full, reliable flight schedule for our customers to ensure they can book and fly with confidence, which is why, in these extraordinary circumstances, we acted as soon as we were informed that the suspension was a possibility," says Comair CEO Glenn Orsmond.

Comair points out that Lufthansa and its technical maintenance facility rank globally as "one of the world's most respected airlines and maintenance organizations".

At the same time, Comair says it respects and fully supports the SACAA in fulfilling its mandate of ensuring that flight safety standards prevail in South Africa.