Challenges at SAA Technical delay flights


SAA Technical, a subsidiary of SAA, has experienced a range of challenges that have led to a backlog of aircraft waiting for maintenance slots, SAA Technical told Travel and Meetings Buyer. The knock-on effect has been an overall decline in on-time performance. 

Travel and Meetings Buyer understands that there has been an overall decline in on-time performance for the past 12 months. SAAT handles maintenance for SAA, Mango, and Comair.

Commenting on the challenges, Media Relations head of department, Tlali Tlali, said: “SAAT has experienced various challenges that resulted in a backlog of aircraft waiting for maintenance slots.  These challenges range from parts for older aircraft which have to be manufactured specifically for SAA as these parts are no longer in production by the OEMs as well as unplanned exit of some narrow-bodied aircraft in 2017 creating additional workload on the maintenance schedule.”

In addition, challenges with SAAT’s system and a reduced management team have affected its operations.

Tlali confirmed that disciplinary proceedings had been initiated against some managers following forensic investigations, but would not comment further as the hearings had not been concluded.

Comair’s agreement with SAA Technical to maintain its current fleet remains in place. However, the airline has entered into an agreement with Lufthansa Technik for its new Boeing 737 MAX 8s and any further other additions to its fleet. Susan Van Der Ryst, corporate communications head of Comair, said that this was because LHT was the only aviation maintenance organisation that could conduct the work.



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