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SA Express to resume Mthatha Airport route this week

Feb 19, 2019
SA Express to resume Mthatha Airport route this week

SA Express is scheduled to resume its Johannesburg to Mthatha flight operations later this week.

The airline is set to reintroduce this route from Thursday onwards.

It was initially suspended on 25 January 2019 after the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) downgraded the Mthatha Airport following negative audit findings.

“The SACAA has subsequently upgraded the airport to level four and restored all the airport’s operating rights for passenger air services with immediate effect,” said the airline.

The airline, which offers connectivity between primary and secondary domestic destinations in South Africa and five other SADC countries, will operate a daily service between OR Tambo International and Mthatha Airports between Sunday and Friday.

The airline intends to increase this frequency in the coming weeks.

The flights will depart Johannesburg (ORTIA) at 3 pm arriving at Mthatha Airport 4:40 pm with the return flights departing at 5:10 pm, landing at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) at 6:40pm.

The airline will operate a 50-seater regional jet CRJ 200 on the route.

SA Express introduced the route in December.

Action to be taken against those responsible for Mthatha Airport downgrade

In his State of the Province Address (SOPA), Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, promised that action will be taken against those responsible for the downgrade of the Mthatha Airport.

"Madam Speaker, you will recall that a fortnight ago the Provincial Government issued an apology to the people of the Eastern Cape and the business community at large, for the inconvenience caused as a result of a decision by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to downgrade Mthatha Airport from a CAT 4 level airport to a CAT 3 level," he said.

"This was due, largely, to non-compliance of the airport to SACAA regulations pertaining mainly to Emergency Services staffing and protocols as well as other matters."

Masualle said that since that fateful decision the Provincial Government responded with speed to fulfil the compliance requirements of the airport in line with SACAA regulations.

"Government is in the process of instituting consequence management against those who are responsible," he added.

"I can report here that an announcement regarding the restoration of Mthatha Airport to CAT 4 can be expected soon." –additional reporting SAnews.gov.za

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