An image rendered when fastjet launched additional flights to Harare and Vic Falls in 2017. Picture: Supplied.
An image rendered when fastjet launched additional flights to Harare and Vic Falls in 2017. Picture: Supplied.

No fuel drama on Johannesburg-Harare flight, insists Fastjet

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Dec 13, 2019

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Fastjet has refuted allegations that a recent flight from Johannesburg to Harare ran low of fuel. 

Harare.com reported that passengers onboard FN8332 shared their frustrations on Twitter after they were "informed that the aircraft’s fuel had been depleted" due to being stationary on the runway for a lengthy period. 

Zimlive.com spoke to one of the passengers onboard flight FN8332, who did not want to be named. They alleged that the airline asked them to disembark and return to the terminal. The passenger claimed the airline informed them that the plane had run out of fuel.  

Fastjet, however, denied the claims that the delay was related to fuel and said a "minor technical defect occurred."

“The airline would like to factually clarify the events regarding flight FN8332 operating from Johannesburg to Harare,” the airline said in a statement.  

The statement revealed that on December 8, the flight was scheduled to operate during a period where Johannesburg experienced poor weather conditions. 

"These adverse weather conditions on the day were resulting in aircraft departures having to wait longer than usual for their takeoff clearances. 

“Following the receipt of departure clearance, a minor technical defect occurred, not related to fuel, and this resulted in a precautionary decision by the crew to discontinue the take off procedure.

“The aircraft was then required to rejoin a queue where a higher number of aircraft were now waiting for their take off clearances. Having evaluated the situation and the anticipated ongoing and lengthy waiting time, the crew decided to return to their parking bay to top up with fuel,” the statement revealed. 

The airline stated that in poor weather conditions, the number of aircraft waiting in line for departure is higher than normal, which resulted in a longer ground taxi time and fuel burn. 

 The statement further revealed: “The decision by the crew to top up the fuel, to enhance operating and safety requirements due to the weather conditions, was fully in accordance with normal safety, operational and regulatory standards.

“At no time was the flight scheduled for take-off without adequate fuel. All actions taken by the crew were in line with operating procedures and the safety of the passengers was not compromised,” it revealed. 

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