© Mike Fuchslocher | nippon cargo airlines NCA
© Mike Fuchslocher

Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA), which last week announced it had grounded all its aircraft, does not expect flights to resume until next month.

It noted on its website that it anticipated flights would be grounded for just one week following its June 17 suspension, but said today: “The verification of the records will take longer than expected.

“Since we will not restart the network until we can conclude the record checking process, the first aircraft will resume operation in more than another week. The rest of the aircraft operation will resume in sequence as soon as the aircraft safety is confirmed.”

Cargolux, a codeshare partner, may be able to step in to help stranded customers, it added, a pledge confirmed by a Cargolux spokeswoman: “We will be providing assistance to NCA wherever we can.”

NCA was under investigation by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau in May following two accidents, one at Chicago O’Hare (ORD) in January 2017, and one on a flight between Los Angeles and San Fransciso in March this year.

The first involved a bird strike during take-off. After ‘detailed inspection’, NCA confirmed that the permanent repair could be carried forward until the next heavy maintenance check. The damage was repaired in April 2017. However, NCA reported it as a “minor repair” rather than a “major repair” by mistake.

The second accident involved a dent, which was correctly reported.

The current grounding is due to  “one inappropriate maintenance record concerning the lubricating oil supply to the aircraft parts”, said the carrier.

“In an abundance of caution and to ensure the safety of our operation, we decided to temporarily ground all aircraft until all maintenance records have been confirmed appropriate.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and worries that we caused our customers.”

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