On Wednesday, Zimbabwean airline Air Zimbabwe issued a statement advising of disruptions to flight schedules due to jet fuel shortages. The measures reflect a regional fuel supply crisis that has caused problems for several flight operations in recent weeks.
The airline made no mention of specific services. The only canceled over the past week have been flights between Harare and Johannesburg in South Africa. However, other airports in Africa, such as Dakar International in Senegal (although Air Zimbabwe does not specifically fly to Dakar), had to temporarily suspend refueling services for two weeks last month. Meanwhile, also in April, Malawi Airlines had to reduce its baggage weight by 70% to carry extra fuel from South Africa due to shortages in its country.
The fully state-owned Zimbabwean airline did not disclose where the specific supply problem was and simply said “at airports”. It is unclear whether Harare’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe International is suffering from shortages or not. A statement released yesterday, May 11, said,
“Air Zimbabwe would like to advise its valued passengers and other stakeholders of a planned disruption to flight schedules due to Jet A1 fuel shortages at airports. Our suppliers have reported constraints in the movement of the product which has impacted the entire value chain up to us as the final consumer of the product.
Air Zimbabwe said it would endeavor to notify passengers of the applicable changes as soon as possible, while continuing to monitor the situation.
Flight to Johannesburg canceled last week
On May 8, Air Zimbabwe canceled flight UM467 from Harare (HRE) to Johannesburg (JNB), as well as return flight UM468. However, the next day the service was back up and running. The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) claimed just a week ago that Johannesburg had enough jet fuel and pleaded with airlines not to cancel flights.
However, severe fuel shortages caused by the floods and subsequent damage to rail infrastructure forced several carriers to make round trips to Durban (with or without passengers) or completely suspend services to OR Tambo.
Meanwhile, it’s not just natural disasters that are causing low fuel supplies. Man-made disasters also play their part. As the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sends fuel prices skyrocketing, suppliers are reducing the amount they hold in stock.
Towards the end of March, Austin Bergstrom International Airport in Texas warned of fuel shortages amid an increase in travel. Buyers at U.S. East Coast airports also expect the shortage to worsen as supply dwindles due to sanctions on Russian energy exports.
African airlines hope to secure supply from July
As NewZWire reports, jet fuel prices have risen by an average of almost 30% of African airline operating costs, up from earlier figures of around 20%. Nigerian Airlines last week said it would stop flying due to prohibitive fuel costs and only canceled its plans after the country’s aviation minister pleaded with them to keep their planes in the air. air.
Meanwhile, a number of African airlines have formed a committee to negotiate better prices. He hopes to secure deliveries for 12 months from July. Until then, we are bound to see more volatility in jet fuel supply across the continent.
Oldest active jets from each Airbus aircraft family
About the Author