Pandemic-weary airlines are now facing a fuel shortage crisis while still recovering from their financial losses during the pandemic.
Over the weekend of April 23-34, 2022, flights were disrupted as Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport experienced jet fuel supply constraints.
United Airlines and Malawi Airlines are the carriers hugely affected by the fuel shortage.
The American carrier which operates a daily rotation to Johannesburg from Newark, New York ended up canceling its services for April 24 and 25, as well as its return trips from Johannesburg on April 25 and April 26, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.
United said the cancellations are due to “airport-wide fuel-supply issues”.
Malawi Airlines’ Johannesburg-bound flights were also disrupted due to the fuel shortage.
The carrier stated that “the payload for our Johannesburg flight was heavily affected due to the return fuel uplift. Consequently, the passenger, baggage, and cargo load uplift were restricted/reduced to 70% of the aircraft’s capacity due to weight limitation.”
Malawi Airlines also said its local fuel supplier is also experiencing fuel supply challenges which have affected Kamuzu International Airport (Lilongwe) and Chileka (Blantyre) Airport.
While airlines are staring down yet another crisis, for travelers, this could mean higher travel expenses, as this translates to cost increases for airlines who will pass on the rising costs.