Last week, the Civil Aviation Authority grounded Comair flights, which included those on British Airways and Kulula. It was a messy cancellation with stranded passengers across the country scrambling to rebook flights on other airlines (some of which were quoting R5 000 single flight ticket from Johannesburg to Cape Town).
Kulula has now confirmed, after a much-anticipated announcement, that it will be offering refunds to irate customers. This comes after the airline promised to keep passengers informed via social media. However, delays were prominent.
“Our Contact Centre is dealing with higher-than-usual volumes. We apologise for the communication delays. If you have sent an email, you will receive an acknowledgement of receipt and need not follow up. Our team is working around the clock to resolve your enquiry within 20 days,” Kulula said.
Comair subsidiary says they are willing to credit tickets for those customers who were affected by the flight cancellations.
“Kulula customers affected by the flight suspension (12-16 Mar) can elect to claim a refund or Travel Bank credit to their full ticket value. While the cancellations were unavoidable, we recognise the inconvenience and wish to extend both offers to affected passengers,” it said.
Meanwhile, British Airways posted the following on Twitter on 11 March 2022:
We are receiving lots of questions around vouchers, refunds and entry requirements so we’ve pulled together some updates and top tips to help you.
Head to YouTube to watch our video now:https://t.co/c9Q1ZZ6BtD
— British Airways (@British_Airways) March 11, 2022
In a bid to prevent any inconvenience to its customers Comair says that it has arranged for SAA Technical (SAAT) to take over the line-maintenance of its aircraft following a recent SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) review of Lufthansa Technik.
Although Lufthansa Technik (LTMI) passed a routine SACAA audit in February of this year, the unscheduled review made a number of findings which need to be addressed within 24 hours or the Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) licence is suspended.
Comair currently uses both SAAT and LTMI to maintain its aircraft.
“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 Glenn Orsmond Comair’s CEO
While Comair says that it respects and fully supports the SACAA in fulfilling its mandate and in so doing, ensuring that flight safety standards prevail in South Africa, Lufthansa and its technical maintenance facility ranks globally as one of the world’s most respected airlines and maintenance organisations. Lufthansa Technik is certified by more than 40 of the world’s foremost airworthiness authorities, has over 800 customers, 22 000 employees and more than 4 500 exclusive contracts globally.
As well as providing aircraft maintenance, repair overhaul and modification services, amongst others, for airlines it also serves VIP, special-mission and military clients worldwide.