More bad news for stranded travellers

2010-04-20 15:29

An SAA flight that was set to return with stranded South Africans from London tonight has been cancelled.

The flight was scheduled to leave for Heathrow Airport from OR Tambo at 10am today. It was later postponed and has since been cancelled.

“We had new volcanic activity overnight, and flying a plane through a cloud is nothing compared to flying one through volcanic ash because the particles spewed out of the volcano could (interfere) with the engine and electronics of a plane,” Fani Zulu, SAA spokesperson, said.

SAA has lost R14 million a day since the volcano had first affected flights. “Since the beginning of all this, we’ve had to ground 40 flights”, Zulu said.

He said SAA would reimburse those passengers who could not fly because of volcanic ash.

Not so lucky
Gordon Muller (57), an independent media consultant from South Africa, could not be as lucky.

Muller was scheduled to travel to the Festival of Media held in Valencia, Spain, but his flight was cancelled because of volcanic ash.

The festival has since ended and Muller has no idea whether the airline he was using will reimburse him.

“I was told by (the airline) official that they would definitely compensate me financially or otherwise, but then I received an e-mail which said that according to their regulations, they would not compensate me.”

  • Virgin Atlantic and Air France flights have been grounded until further notice. Three British Airways flights were provisionally scheduled to leave OR Tambo International Airport for London tonight.

  • Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) spokesperson Unathi Batyashe-Fillis said ACSA, along with SAA, had set up a temporary structure to accommodate stranded passengers where they would be supplied with food and blankets.

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