Private jet logjam delays fans in Durban

July 8, 2010

, JOHANNESBURG, Jul 8 – Airports Company South Africa on Thursday blamed VIP private jets for congestion at Durban\’s airport that made 700 fans late for the last World Cup semi-final.

On Wednesday evening, five commercial flights carrying fans to the Germany-Spain match had to turn back to Johannesburg and Cape Town, due to landing space problems at the airport.

"The congestion problem was caused by some private airplanes (which) refused move … after landing, therefore blocking landing space for other planes," airports chief Monhla Hlahla told 702 radio.

"Priority had to be given to VIPs who were caught up in the situation," she said, adding that FIFA planes were allowed to land before commercial flights.

"We had too many flights wanting to land and at some point we had to instruct them to turn back," she said.

She said the experience would be used to prevent similar delays in Johannesburg for the final on Sunday.

The new King Shaka airport opened on May 1, and was meant to cope with higher passenger volumes.

Budget airline Mango said one of its flights was delayed for three hours, with enraged fans missing the first half of the match. They were given a special bus to take them directly to the stadium.

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