Airlink will suspend flights between Pretoria and Cape Town from May 8 to accommodate upgrades at Wonderboom Airport.
Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga said on Tuesday that the move was intended to accommodate infrastructural developments to “make the airport more competitive so that it may contribute to the boosting of the city's economy”.
“This is not an unusual occurrence when working on the long-term viability of an airport. Wonderboom airport is the only metropolitan-owned commercial airport in South Africa and one of our most important strategic assets.
It is highly convenient in terms of location for residents‚ as well as neighbouring provinces such as Limpopo‚ North West and even Mpumalanga. The suspension will temporarily have implications for our regular patrons and on initiatives implemented to contribute to the economic sustainability.”
The airport was opened in 1937 and is situated 15km north of the administrative capital. There are about 200 companies operating at the airport. “As pronounced in 2017 during my state of the capital city address‚ we want to create an integrated‚ city-wide public transport system.
As the licence holder of the airport‚ the municipality is responsible for its welfare and growth. It is for this reason that the process to involve the private sector in the development and management of the airport is critically important. Indeed we need assistance to turn around the airport and maximum return on this‚” said a statement by Msimanga.
He said that a private company would come on board to operate the airport. The city of Tshwane had already completed a development programme to maximise the value of the airport.