JOHANNESBURG  - SA Express on Friday announced that it was canceling its flights to Mthatha with immediate effect because the airport there has been downgraded.

The Civil Aviation Authority has downgraded the Mthatha airport effective from Friday, 25 January 2019, following a negative audit finding against it.

As a result of the downgrade spokesperson, Madikwe Mabotha, said South African Express was "advising customers that the airline is implementing flight cancellations between Johannesburg and Mthatha".

Mabotha added: "We are working jointly with the Eastern Cape provincial government authorities to find a speedy solution so that operations at the airport can resume. We apologise to our passengers and customers for the inconvenience caused by these cancellations, which are outside of our control".

The airline said affected customers were requested to call SA Express Customer Care on 011 978 2355. 

"All booked passengers for the period will be fully refunded," said Mabotha.

- African News Agency (ANA)