National News

Cup flights fiasco

2010-07-07 22:09

Johannesburg - Three planeloads of soccer fans headed for the World Cup semi-final between Spain and Germany were forced to turn back on Wednesday from Durban's King Shaka International Airport, forcing the fans to miss the match.

Spain won the match 1-0, to go through to the final for the first time.

Two planes from Johannesburg and one from Cape Town were refused permission to land after the airport was swamped by arrivals, airport spokesperson Colin Naidoo told The Associated Press.

He said the problem was caused by the large numbers of supporters arriving at the airport for the (World Cup) semi-final.

Smaller aircraft were allowed to land and disembark passengers before taking off again and "parking" at the old Durban International Airport, Naidoo said.

"We did have some delays which were compounded by the fact we had air traffic congestion," Naidoo said. "At a certain stage air traffic control decided to close arrivals to the airport.

"Some fans didn't manage to get to the game because we had to turn those aircraft back."

Naidoo said planes were usually allotted a landing slot and said there were not enough slots for the aircraft that arrived.

"We had lots of air traffic from the two countries that are playing," he said.

Read more on:    durban  |  germany  |  spain


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