South African regulators have ordered maintenance compliance verification on some aircraft in the fleets of South African Airways and Comair, resulting in schedule disruption for the two carriers.
The order follows a South African Civil Aviation Authority inspection and audit of maintenance firm South African Airways Technical, which has picked up "irregular findings", according to Comair.
Comair says some of its aircraft are effectively grounded until necessary corrective action is carried out. The carrier operates an all-Boeing 737 fleet, mainly the -800 variant.
"We are working closely with [the maintenance firm] to rectify the findings and [put] our flights back on schedule as soon as possible," the airline adds.
Comair, which is a British Airways franchise partner, says it has put a contingency plan in place in an effort to minimise disruption.
South African Airways states that it is similarly preparing to operate an amended schedule after "some" of its aircraft were recalled to undertake compliance verification.
Four domestic flights – between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban – have been cancelled on 22 October, it says, and passengers are being accommodated on other services, with larger aircraft deployed.
"This has significantly reduced the impact of the inconvenience on the customers," it claims.
SAA's schedules indicate that the cancelled services were due to be operated by Airbus A320-family jets.
It says the South African CAA inspection is a "necessary exercise" to ensure safety compliance. Comair adds that passenger safety is its "foremost priority and is never compromised".