A lack of jet fuel at Cape Town International Airport could lead to issues with schedules and possibly cause flight cancellations, according to the Airline Association of Southern Africa (AASA).
“These restrictions are now likely to result in disruptions to airline schedules and possibly cancelled flights at a time when the industry and the economy can ill afford it,” AASA said.
We don’t have liftoff
The airport believes that the shortage won’t lead to any disruptions, with a shipment of fuel arriving in the early days of October. There are still a few days’ worths of jet fuel left to keep the airport running in the meantime, though the AASA believes the airport is too optimistic about any potential issues.
“The escalation of jet fuel rations throws into sharp focus South Africa’s vulnerability because of its reliance on imported jet fuel,” said the AASA.
As fuel costs continue to rise, the AASA feels that airports around the country need a backup plan in place for situations like these. The agency has called on the government and fuel providers to urgently help airlines around the country. Part of the issue is that planes are carrying extra fuel while travelling to avoid missing any schedules. This is counter-intuitive. Planes waste more fuel in the long run by carrying a heavier load.
“AASA urges the government to waive the additional on-route air navigation and airport fees airlines will incur in order to comply with the fuel rations at Cape Town and continue to provide the inter-continental connectivity that local airlines and the entire region’s economy depend on.”
If these problems surrounding the lack of jet fuel continue, South Africa could see more deviations and missed schedules. Not just at the Cape Town International Airport, but at all airports around the country.