OR Tambo airport hit by fuel shortage

Airlines at OR Tambo International Airport were asked to voluntarily cut back fuel usage by 30%, as supply problems whittled stocks to a two-day stockpile, an airport official said on Tuesday.

Jet fuel requirements for OR Tambo International had not been met for several weeks, affecting stock levels that are usually kept at a five-day store, said Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) spokesperson Solomon Makgale.

“We have two days where we would be able to supply fuel. The fuel, coupled with the 30% reduction, will keep the airport operational until the stock levels are back up,” he told Agence France-Presse.

The shortage only affects OR Tambo, the busiest airport on the continent, with 18-million passengers and 300 000 tons of cargo passing through its terminals annually, said Makgale.

Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa, said the shortfall was caused by an irregular supply of jet fuel due to rail tankers not arriving at an expected rate.

Following a meeting with affected parties on Tuesday, he said the problem had been mostly resolved, with the airport’s stockpile likely to return to normal by next week.

Transport company Transnet, which is responsible for the country’s railroads, said it will respond on the shortages later Tuesday.—AFP


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