Cape Town – FlySafair has confirmed that technical issues that disrupted two flights last weekend have been fully resolved.
On Friday, 22nd January, Flight FA202 from Johannesburg to Cape Town was cruising at 36 000ft when it experienced a gradual loss of pressure on board. The pilots commenced a fully controlled slow descent, in accordance with Boeing manuals and Safair- and CAA-approved operating procedures, taking nine minutes to get to 10 000ft, a height where the aircraft does not need to be pressurised.
The airline confirmed that the aircraft was checked by engineers who repaired a loose clamp on a duct. After successful pressurisation tests on the ground and test flights up to an altitude of 36 000ft, the aircraft re-entered service on Sunday, 24th January.
Unfortunately, while operating flight FA103 from Johannesburg to Cape Town on Sunday, a second, co-incidental technical incident occurred. On this occasion, a cargo door seal caused a gradual loss of pressure in the cabin. Once again, pilots began a slow and fully controlled descent in eight minutes, from 32 000ft to 10 000ft.
FlySafair Chief Executive Officer Elmar Conradie said the airline understands that some passengers were worried during the incidents, stating the it is doing everything in its power to accommodate passengers and that the crew "adhered to all safety procedures".
FlySafair said the aircraft involved has since passed all engineering tests but will not return to service until a further series of ground and flight tests have been repeated.
“The second round of tests is not a necessary requirement of the aircraft manufacturer or the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), but we are proceeding with them anyway because safety is our priority and we want to honour our customers’ trust in us."