The South African Airways (SAA) has announced that it has cancelled all flights to Zimbabwe for Saturday. Earlier, a SAA flight was grounded in Zimbabwe by the country’s authorities. Reasons for the grounding of the flight have not been specified.
Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi and SAA, Air Zimbabwe and the Civil Aviation Authority are meeting to resolve the grounding of aircraft in both countries.
On Friday an Air Zimbabwe plane was grounded at O R Tambo after it failed to comply with local aviation regulations.
By Saturday morning an SAA aircraft bound from Harare to Johannesburg was also grounded by Zimbabwean authorities.
“We have to announce to our customers and everyone who intended to fly between the two countries today (Saturday) that SAA has taken a decision to cancel all flights today (Saturday). SAA has 8 scheduled flights that were meant to operate between Johannesburg and two points in Zimbabwe that is Harare and Victoria Falls in opposite directions so all of those are cancelled and that means we have to make a calculation as to how best can we accommodate these passengers if we are going to resume with operations tomorrow (Sunday),” says spokesperson SAA Spokesperson Tlali Tlali.
Both South African and Zimbabwean aviation authorities insist neither carrier was in possesion of a Foreign Operators Permit.
The permit alongside other documents must be on board and available for inspection on request.
SAA has been operating the Harare route for over twenty years. The carrier operates eight flights between the two countries.
They say that it was the first they had heard of the regulation.
SAA has since cancelled all flights to Harare for the rest of Saturday
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