South African regional carrier SA Express is suspending operations until further notice, in response to various pressures on the airline.

While it mentions the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, SA Express indicates this is only one consideration behind its decision, attributing the suspension to “adverse recent developments”.

The airline had been under substantial financial pressure and was driven into a business rescue process earlier this year.

SA Express has also been grounded twice in the past four years by the country’s civil aviation regulator following safety concerns turned up by audits.

The airline says it is suspending operations from 18 March, but has not indicated when services might be restored.

All customers will be accommodated on alternative flights, it adds, while all non-critical personnel will be placed on compulsory leave.

SA Express, which uses a fleet of Bombardier CRJs and Q400s, says it will use the suspension period to review its network and “streamline operations for improved efficiency”.