Mbalula praises ACSA for swift response to fuel refuel delay

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With the festive season drawing to a close, national roads and airports will see an influx of travellers returning to major metro cities as schools and offices begin to open, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula paid an oversight visit to OR Tambo International Airport to check their readiness for the year.

Last week thousands of travellers were left stranded for hours at the airport as planes were unable to refuel in what the minister calls a technical fault.

“Technical fault between the fuel storage facility and the main hydrant system which impacted the refueling of aircrafts.”

“The technical issue was as a result of the the main supply valve supplying fuel to the aprons not opening resulting in rotational  delay to domestic and international departures,” says Mballula

The delays affected 41 flights majority of which were domestic flights.

The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) however,  says they have not been able to quantify how much money was lost during last week’s fuel technical glitch. ACSA says this was due to a breakdown between the pool storage facility and the main hydrant system, which impacted the refuelling of aircraft

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula conducts an oversight visit to OR Tambo International airport:

Peak Season travel

Meanwhile, ACSA has seen a major increase of travel as compared to the 2021 festive season. OR Tambo alone processed more than 27 000 passenger of the 9th, 16th and 23rd of December.

“We are quite excited in fact about the return of travellers and passengers into our system over December. We managed to reach in the month so far up to 80% recovery from 2019. So December was in fact one of the best months we’ve seen in a long time.” says ACSA CEO Mpumi Mpofu.

ACSA CEO Mpumi Mpofu speaks to SABC News ahead of the oversight visit by the Transport minister: