TEN months after the grounding of CemAir, the airline could finally be days away from being able to fly again. Consumer confidence is at an all-time low, however, with agents and passengers reporting that refunds – which the airline promised would take eight weeks to process – remain outstanding.
CemAir was grounded during December by the SACAA but eventually won its appeal against the authority in June. Despite this, the airline did not resume flights, saying that it had to renew its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) which had expired during the grounding period.
Ceo of CemAir, Miles van der Molen, told TNW that the airline had expected to receive its AOC last week but that this deadline had slipped to next week because the “internal process” was not complete.
“The process of getting the AOC has been very frustrating. I will provide more details once the certificate is in hand because of the way the CAA operates,” said Miles, who was adamant that the airline would announce its schedule and start date as soon as its AOC was in hand.
Spokesperson for the SA Civil Aviation Authority, Kabelo Ledwaba, responded, saying that the SACAA was almost at a final stage of its review, which had been treated as a priority from day one. He said the authority hoped to conclude the matter in the next few days, adding that it would not bypass regulated process due to an attempt to exert pressure on it through media platforms.