The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) has suspended two of CemAir’s Air Operator Certificates (AOCs), preventing the airline from flying.

The suspension became effective at around 15h30 on Thursday.

This comes after the authority issued the carrier with a prohibition order, preventing it from operating until it had submitted proof of regulatory compliance, or to made a representation, and stated reasons as to why its certificates should not be revoked.  The carrier had a deadline until 13h30 on Thursday to do so.

SACAA said the decision to issue the prohibition order followed the raising of two Level 1 findings against the operator by SACAA inspectors during an annual permit renewal audit. SACAA describes Level 1 findings as severe non-compliance or non-conformance that poses a very serious safety risk.

On Thursday evening, the authority said its audit team has also recommended that the Director of Civil Aviation revoke CemAir’s AOCs.

“The SACAA’s decision follows a thorough review of CemAir’s Corrective Action Plan (CAP), which sought to address the initial findings unveiled during the annual renewal audit, conducted this week. The CAP or proposed remedial actions by CemAir were found to be unsatisfactory and did not adequately address the findings that were initially raised,” SACAA said in a statement.