Airport arrivals boost trade, travel sectors
by DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – CAPE Town’s trade and travel-related industries, and the economy at large, are set for growth in 2022 as airport arrivals increase.
The most recent passenger arrival figures from Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) reveal it welcomed 869 119 passengers between October and December last year.
This represents a 58 percent recovery of 2019 volumes in the same period.
These numbers were largely driven by domestic travellers of whom 733 207 made their way to Cape Town in the three-month period.
By the last two weeks of December, the average number of daily passengers at CTIA increased to 20 339. Flight movements rose to 184 per day.
Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, said the figures certainly would have been much higher had international governments not slapped travel restrictions on South Africa.
After many of them began to stop their bans, flight bookings began to climb, data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows.
“This latest information underscores the value of aviation to travel and trade in the metro. Every air traveller that lands in Cape Town helps to support our economy and create more jobs,” Vos said
In 2019, the airport alone helped funnel just under R14 billion (US$910,4 million) into Cape Town and supported over 28 000 jobs. An IATA report from 2017 reported that the industry funnelled around US$9,4 billion into South Africa’s GDP.
“As such, my officials and I have already had discussions with Wesgro to promote investment and export possibilities. I am determined to get the ball rolling on this,” said Vos.
They will prioritise the Air Access initiative and programmes focused on boosting Cape Town’s access to key source markets, which would allow for more exports of Mother City-made goods to the world.
Air Access, which is facilitated by Wesgro and receives funding from the City, is tasked with promoting, developing and maintaining national and international air routes to and from CTIA.
Prior to the pandemic, Air Access helped to establish 19 new routes and 23 route expansions and added 1,5 million passenger seats.
International air cargo volumes through CTIA experienced a 10 percent compound annual growth rate between 2015 and 2019.
Stakeholders will this year focus on expanding programmes that will connect Cape Town with more export markets.
“Let us seize these opportunities that await Cape Town,” Vos said.
– CAJ News