Flights were canceled over the weekend of April 23-34, 2022 as Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport experienced jet fuel supply constraints.
According to South African news outlet Fin24, South Africa no longer produces refined jet fuel so this must be imported.
However, recent floods in Durban, a coastal and port city, created a backlog in the supply chain of imported jet fuel, which is normally transported from Durban to Johannesburg, a land-locked city.
OR Tambo International Airport says the current fuel shortage that has forced some airlines to delay their flights or reduce capacity was caused by the backlog in the supply of imported jet fuel via Durban’s port. pic.twitter.com/I3gqm8Tim0
— Kosmos 94.1 (@Kosmos941) April 26, 2022
United Airlines and Malawi Airlines have been affected by the fuel shortage.
United Airlines canceled its Newark-Johannesburg legs on April 24 and 25, and has canceled return trips from Johannesburg for April 25 and April 26, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. United said the cancellations are due to “airport-wide fuel-supply issues”.
In a press release seen by local media, Malawi Airlines said its local fuel supplier is also experiencing fuel supply challenges which have affected Kamuzu International Airport (Lilongwe) and Chileka (Blantyre) Airport.
“This will adversely affect all our flight operations across our network. Do take note that the fuel crisis may take a couple of days to improve,” the airline said.