Africa-Press – South-Africa. Flights to and from Cape Town International Airport were diverted or delayed from Thursday afternoon, after the main runway had to be closed for safety reasons.
Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) said an aircraft developed technical issues on the runway, leading to the closure just after 14:00.
“As a result, both arrival and departure flights have been impacted. The aircraft in question was subsequently removed from the main runway, and this was followed by a runway inspection by fire and rescue teams which uncovered a hydraulic *[fluid] spill on the tarmac.”
According to FlySafair, an aircraft from another airline had made an emergency landing, resulting in a loss of hydraulic fuel on the runway.
The airline diverted flights FA163 and FA121 to George Airport in the Western Cape.
It issued new departure and arrival times for affected flights departing Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Lanseria. The last flights will land in Lanseria and Cape Town at 00:20.
A few local and international flights had to be diverted to Johannesburg.
This included Ethiopian Airways Flight ET847, which had been due to land in Cape Town from Addis Ababa at 14:30. Instead, it was seen circling Robben Island before eventually heading to Johannesburg.
Frazzled commuters flocked to social media trying to find answers on when they could expect to get to their destinations.
One passenger shared on X (formerly Twitter): “After sitting on the plane and tarmac for 6 hours, flight ET 844 from Cape Town is cancelled… Try again tomorrow.”
*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to amend mention of the word “fuel” to “fluid” in a direct quote from ACSA. (13/10/23)