Due to a shortage of jet fuel at Cape Town’s international airport, United Airlines was forced to cancel flights between Newark and Cape Town.
The Airports Company of South Africa’s acknowledgment that a significant gasoline cargo had been delayed was the first time information about the developing jet fuel crisis in Cape Town emerged on Monday.
Despite assurances from the airport operator’s spokesperson that all scheduled flights would proceed as scheduled, airlines were instructed to develop backup plans in case fuel levels fell to critically low levels.
Airlines had been instructed to transport only the amount of fuel required for their trip and to think about including an additional refueling stop in an effort to conserve the fuel that was still at the airport.
Before the shipment of jet fuel arrived, the airport operator felt these precautions would be sufficient to maintain flying operations. However, ACSA said on Saturday that bad weather had caused the tanker to be further delayed and that it was still unknown when the vessel will arrive in Cape Town.
The South African civil aviation authority pleaded with airlines to restrict fuel uplifts at Cape Town International Airport (CPT) until the shipment had arrived in a revised Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM).
The airport claims that it has been collaborating closely with airlines as reports of domestic flight operators being limited to just 50% of their usual fuel uplift.
A message on United’s website says its service from Newark to Cape Town had been canceled on Sunday because the airline is “unable to fuel your plane”.
British Airways had to cancel its daily flight on Sunday from Cape Town to London Heathrow, according to information provided by Flight Radar 24, although the carrier did not immediately provide an explanation.