Holidaymakers are in for a bumpy end of the festive season as the George Airport is running out of fuel and airlines scramble to make alternative plans.
A notification was circulated to airlines on Wednesday saying George Airport will not have Jet A1 fuel, the aviation turbine fuel, from Thursday until January 12, 2017. Head of sales and distribution at FlySafair Kirby Gordon said the shortage would affect all airlines.
He said they were putting in place measures to mitigate the shortage but admitted that travelling will be hampered.
"This will affect all the airlines flying to George because they will not be able to refuel. We are putting in place measures to ensure we don't disrupt people's travels," he said.
Among the measures being considered is tankering, filling up the plane with double the amount needed for a single trip, to enable it to fly from Johannesburg to George and back without having to refuel. Not all planes are however able to do so.
"Another move would be to stop buy somewhere like Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town. That would mean the plane would be rerouted before continuing its trip to Johannesburg," he said.
News24 reported that a customer care operator at George Airport confirmed the shortage, saying the Avgas (aviation gasoline) will be available, but aircraft operating on Jet A1 fuel will have to make alternative arrangement for their flights.
The Airports Company South Africa was not immediately available for comment.