International travel to King Shaka airport rockets

06 September 2016 - 19:10 By Nompumelelo Magwaza

International travel has increased by almost 50% at Durban’s King Shaka International Airport (KSIA). That's according to acting CEO at Dube Trade Port Corporation Hamish Erskine who said on Tuesday that KSIA had seen a 46% increase in international passenger growth volumes.Erskine attributed the increase in passenger growth to a new traveller market created by the existing and new international carriers at the airport.These developments have established Durban as a strong secondary route into the country with a potential to increase the number of international travellers in the future.KSIA has routes flying out to Dubai with Emirates Airlines‚ Doha with Qatar Airways‚ Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and to Addis Ababa via the Ethiopian Airlines.International passenger numbers for both inbound and outbound flights rose to 34‚753 in the month of July from 23‚855 in the same period last year."The increased direct air connectivity into Durban has done a lot to stimulate demand from passengers flying internationally. The new direct routes into Durban have given consumers access to fly directly from more destinations around the world‚ with new airlines opening access to over 900 global destinations‚" said Erskine.The new airlines have also benefited from business and leisure travel as well as the international events such as the recent World Aids conference.Terence Delomoney‚ general manager at King Shaka International Airport‚ said the airport was viewed as a major economic catalyst for investment and growth in the region.International traffic has grown from 5% to 7% over the last year on the back of a 42% increase in available seat capacity on international flights."On the domestic front‚ Fly Safair also started flights from King Shaka International last year which has increased domestic seat capacity."The domestic market has grown by 9% for the period April to July 2016 compared to the same period last year.Cargo volumes have also experienced a double digit growth of 25% from January to July this year."As the government‚ we are supporting the economy by‚ amongst other things‚ attracting long-haul international flights‚ which provides greater opportunities for the local manufacturing sector to export globally. The international flights also removes potential hurdles for international travellers visiting the province‚" said SIhle Zikalala‚ MEC for Economic Development‚ Tourism and Environmental Affairs in the province.TMG Digital/Durban Newsroom

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