The recent industrial action that was carried out by aviation workers union members at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) not only caused disruption but also left thousands of passengers stranded.
Two days after the strike, JKIA is facing a new challenge of fuel shortages, forcing planes operating from the airport to fuel from JKIA to fuel in neighboring countries.
According to reports, the fuel shortage is expected to persist till Sunday.
The shortage is blamed on inadequate orders by oil marketing companies that sell directly to airlines.
Speaking to Business Daily, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority director-general Gilbert Kibe stated that a fresh delivery had arrived in Mombasa and was to be pumped to Nairobi, with the normal supply expected to resume by Sunday, March 10.
“We have issued notice to airlines and they are aware of the current shortage that we are facing,” Mr Kibe revealed.
Nairobi-based cargo airline Astral Aviation had to fuel its aircraft in Juba, Mogadishu and Djibouti; with some that were coming from Europe expected to fuel at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania.
Speaking on the shortage, Astral Aviation commercial manager Mustwafa Murad stated: “The current shortage of jet fuel at JKIA has seen our aircraft fueling at the regional airports.”
The shortage, he affirmed, has subjected airlines to expensive jet fuel in other airports where they were forced to pay more for the commodity.
Jet fuel in Entebbe is, for instance, $12 cents higher than in Nairobi, Mogadishu $38 cents costlier, Kilimanjaro $14 cents more expensive and Juba $30 cents more.
Egypt Air Flight MS850 en-route to Cairo made a technical stop-over at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda for refueling.
It is further noted that the plane which left Nairobi at 4:20 pm Thursday was meant to be in Cairo by 8 am, but was however delayed by three hours because of the fueling stopover at Entebbe.
Kenya Airways chairman Michael Joseph noted that the country’s carrier is yet to experience the shortage affirming that the supplies will be enough until Sunday when normal supplies resume.