US airline cancels flights to SA because of jet fuel shortage in Cape Town

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Jet fuel supplies at the airport were running low because a ship carrying much-needed stock has been delayed due to continued bad weather.
Jet fuel supplies at the airport were running low because a ship carrying much-needed stock has been delayed due to continued bad weather.
Getty Images
  • US carrier United Airlines has had to cancel two flights as it cannot source jet fuel at the Cape Town International Airport.
  • The supply of jet fuel at the airport came under pressure after a ship carrying stock was delayed due to continued bad weather.
  • According to the manager of the Cape Town Port, they are tracking the progress of the vessel closely and will give it priority when it arrives.
  • Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday, or go to the News 24 Business front page.

US giant United Airlines has cancelled its flight from Newark to Cape Town on Monday as well as a return flight on Tuesday, because the airline can't get fuel at Cape Town International Airport.

On Saturday, passengers who booked for the flights received a message informing them of the cancellation. "Your flight was cancelled because we were unable to fuel your plane," the airline said. It added that the flight's status may still change. United says it is working to reaccommodate its customers.

News24 Business reported this week that jet fuel supplies at the airport were running low because a ship carrying much-needed stock has been delayed due to continued bad weather. It was supposed to arrive a week ago.

Rajesh Dana, port manager of the Cape Town Port, said the vessel in question was expected to arrive in the port on Sunday evening. 

"As the port, we are on high alert and tracking the vessel to ensure all resources are ready to receive it when it arrives. The vessel will be receiving berthing priority and we do not foresee any challenges servicing the vessel when it arrives," Dana told News24 Business.

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) issued a notice to airlines on Saturday that there may be further delays in the delivery of jet fuel to the airport in Cape Town and imposed restrictions on fuel uplift to conserve fuel stocks until a new consignment arrives.

On Friday, some domestic airlines were rationed to 50% of the fuel they usually fill up on in Cape Town.

ACSA also asked airlines to refuel at other airports. 

While ACSA said on Thursday that it had four days of stock left, one airline insider, who wants to remain anonymous, accused the group of not being transparent about the true extent of the crisis. 

ACSA says it will continue to work with airlines to limit the impact on flight operations, which includes reducing passenger loads.

It requests passengers to continuously monitor developments around this issue.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders