Subdued traveller numbers at SA airports‚ but Cape Town scores
A highlight of the peak holiday season was the continued extraordinary growth in international passengers at Cape Town International Airport‚ according to the latest Aviation Barometer published by Airports Company South Africa (Acsa).
"International arrivals went up by 13.85% and international departures experienced a 15.69% growth in the fourth quarter compared to the same period in 2016‚" Acsa said of the Cape Town route.
The Barometer is based on the count of passengers using the network of nine airports owned and managed by the company in South Africa.
It shows that growth in passenger numbers at the nine airports was just over 3% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Nearly 11 million arriving and departing passengers used South Africa’s main airports in the fourth quarter‚ an increase of 321‚000 over the fourth quarter of 2016.
King Shaka International Airport continued to enjoy solid growth in domestic passenger traffic with arrivals up 5.63% and departures up 6.17% in the fourth quarter of 2017 while connectivity between King Shaka International and regional airports such as Mthatha‚ East London and Port Elizabeth also grew with the opening of new routes by smaller airlines.
Overall‚ however‚ "domestic air travel remained under strain"‚ with increase of only 2.60% for arrivals (equal to 95‚203 passengers) and 2.76% for departures (109‚972 passengers) in the fourth quarter of 2017‚" the report shows.
Overall international arrivals increased by 3.80% to 1‚568‚230 passengers while international departures rose by a 4.38% to 1‚589‚309 passengers. Regional travel - from Namibia‚ Botswana‚ Lesotho and Swaziland - was up by 1.70% to 147‚132 passengers. Regional departures were up by 1.20% to 141‚186 passengers.