Jo'burg, 10 May 2010 - Unseasonal weather, in particular heavy rain and fog, has caused severe disruptions to flights from Lanseria airport in recent weeks. The weather has resulted in over 30 kulula.com flights being delayed in the past month.
Gidon Novick, Joint CEO of Comair said that flights leaving Lanseria were most affected by the bad weather, while disruptions were also caused at other destinations later in the day as a result of the knock-on effect. "Our services out of Lanseria have continued to grow and over 1 million fans are now using Lanseria each year - this unseasonal weather has put a dampener on many of our customers' travel plans over the past few weeks."
Gavin Sayce, Airport Manager at Lanseria said that in 11 years at the airport he had never seen such heavy rain and fog, such as has been experienced in April and early May.
"The past few weeks have seen the highest rainfall on record in the area for this time of year," said Sayce. "The South African Weather Service reports that the monthly rainfall in April in parts of Gauteng was almost double the average expected. The total rainfall figure in April this year was 31.2 millimeters compared to April rainfall figures of 3.9 millimeters two years ago. This has severely hampered our operations. Since safety is our primary concern, it is not good practice to allow aircraft to take off or land in very poor visibility such as during heavy rain or fog."
Novick said that Lanseria typically has a higher on-time record than OR Tambo International due to the simplified airport experience, a lack of congestion and shorter taxi times. "Our kulula target for on-time performance is for 90% of all flights to leave within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time - our vision for Lanseria is to offer not only the most affordable flights in the land but also the most reliable" he said.