CemAir has gotten its AOC back. The grounded airline hopes to resume flights.
The airline issued this statement:
On October 17, 2019 CemAir received its renewed Aircraft Operating Certificates from the SA Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) meaning that CemAir can again operate commercial flights on its South African registered aircraft.
As communicated previously, on April 29, 2019 the Civil Aviation Appeal Committee found that CemAir was illegally grounded by the SACAA on January 11, 2019. Despite the uncontested judgement, CemAir was unable to resume operations due to the natural annual expiry of the aircraft operating certificates on January 28, 2019. The processing of the renewal by the SACAA was finalized yesterday.
In the coming week, CemAir will announce the first flights to be resumed on its domestic schedule. We expect to provide our leisure destinations of Margate and Plettenberg Bay with flights for the upcoming holiday season with the possible addition of other destinations.
We respect the authority and decisions of the Civil Aviation Appeal Committee, an independent panel constituted by the Department of Transport to adjudicate the actions of the SACAA. Their 82-page judgement comprehensively deals with all allegations made by and all suspension notices issued by the SACAA. We note the contents of the SACAA’s press releases and highlight with concern the inconsistencies between these statements and the April 29, 2019 judgement. The SACAA’s website continues to display inflammatory media releases, the contents of which have been proven to be false and in contravention of the Civil Aviation Act under which the SACAA is constituted.
CemAir is the only truly independent scheduled airline operating regional aircraft and provides services to smaller towns and regional centres. The airline is privately owned and receives no subsidy or funding from the State but rather contributes considerably to tax revenue. In February 2019 we employed more than 310 staff and was the only airline connecting Margate and Plettenberg Bay to major centres. We voluntarily participated in the IOSA program, the global gold standard benchmark safety standard for airlines devised by IATA, and we have enjoyed an impeccable safety record across all operations.
We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience caused throughout this ordeal. We realize that many thousands of travelers were stranded and hundreds of jobs lost directly and indirectly as a result of the SACAA’s illegal actions. We continue to process refunds and can now (at a customer’s election) offer a credit towards future travel.
We thank all those who stood by us through this difficult time. We look forward to your continued support as we re-establish our services.