Last October, I spent an exhilarating 9 days bouncing between South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Namibia, from the Kruger to Victoria Falls and from Chobe to the Cape of Good Hope.
I was very impressed with Johannesburg’s kosher food scene, but the city itself seemed firmly stuck in the 3rd world, with no power, street signals or lights, or running water due to load shedding meant to conserve resources. Never mind the police stopping us asking for a bribe, something I’ve only encountered in Mexico previously, but that’s a story for another time…
For the past week, airlines have been cancelling flights to and from Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo Airport, the main hub of South Africa.
For example, United hasn’t operated a flight from South Africa since Sunday:
The airline blames this on fuel shortages:
The airport denied this several days ago, and said that they do have fuel and they are meeting demand:
— DansDeals (@DansDeals) April 27, 2022
But United isn’t alone and problems have continued.
Yesterday’s Delta flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta had a planned diversion to Ghana to refuel, adding several hours of travel time:
And yesterday’s Virgin Atlantic flight from Johannesburg to London had a planned diversion to Durban to refuel, adding some 5 hours of travel time:
It does seem oddly sporadic though, as other airlines have been able to complete their flights. Perhaps they had better agreements in place? Or perhaps they just knew who they were supposed to bribe?
Have you been affected by the cancellations and diversions from South Africa?