South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit has ordered the grounding of South Sudan Supreme Airlines (Juba) after the fatal crash of a Let 410 turboprop on March 2, 2021.

In an official notice issued on March 3, Mayardit said: “As a temporary measure to deal with these avoidable air accidents before laws governing civil aviation are strengthened via legislative means, I am hereby directing (the) Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Authority to suspend South Sudan Supreme Airlines' operations in South Sudan. This measure is necessary for these institutions to ascertain the airworthiness of the remaining South Sudan Supreme planes. It is also a necessary step to restoring public confidence in air travel in the country.”

Ten people including eight passengers and two pilots died when the South Sudan Supreme Airlines Let Kunovice turboprop, registered as HK-4274, bound for the capital Juba crashed shortly after take-off from at an airstrip outside the town of Pieri in Jonglei state.

This is the second accident involving an aircraft of South Sudan Supreme Airlines. Some 37 people were injured when an An-26 (S9-TLZ (msn 13310)) operated by the airline was destroyed by fire after landing at Wau on a domestic flight from Juba on March 20, 2017.

As previously reported, South Supreme Airlines (JUA, Juba) (formerly Feeder Airlines (FDD, Juba)) ceased operations in 2015, but was relaunched under the name of South Sudan Supreme Airlines.

In 2019, the South Sudan Civil Aviation Authority (SSCAA) instituted ageing aircraft laws in the interests of boosting public safety. According to the Aviation Safety Network, Antonov Design Bureau-manufactured aircraft and Let 410s have been involved in at least seven and three accidents respectively in South Sudan since 2015.