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Grounded Comair slows Cape Town airports recovery

by DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – PASSENGER performance at Cape Town’s airports remains positive but the liquidation of Comair has reduced domestic recovery.

According to data by Wesgro, for July (01-10) the positive growth trend for both the domestic and international terminals at the Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) will continue through the winter season.

The international terminal sits at an 86 percent two-way passenger recovery, whereas the domestic terminal is presenting a 65 percent two-way passenger recovery when compared to the same period in 2019.

The significant reduction in domestic recovery between May and June 2022 is likely due to the decrease in capacity linked to the Comair liquidation, which held 38 percent of the domestic market share for Cape Town.

Wesgro noted this resulted in increased load factors for the remaining carriers, as seen by the 92 percent average load factor for both arrivals and departures at the domestic terminal.

For the first half of 2022, the domestic terminal has seen over 2 million two-way passengers moving through the terminal, which equates to a growth of 50 percent when compared to the same period in 2021.

Conversely, the international terminal has seen an increase of 380 percent, with over 785 000 passengers moving through the terminal compared to the same period in 2021.

Meanwhile, George Airport’s passenger numbers have settled after the surge seen in April following the Easter holiday period and the drop seen in May following the Comair liquidation.

The decline in the recovery between May and June has been less pronounced than expected only dropping to 86 percent in June and 88 percent for the first week of July compared to 97 percent in May.

For the first half of 2022, over 300 000 two-way passengers travelled through the airport, which is a 49 percent increase in traffic compared to the same period in 2021.

Fresh fruits and fresh cut flowers are the top two international export products for Cape Town, with over 3 800 and 2 700 metric tonnes traded in 2021, respectively.

Fresh fruit had a recovery of 76 percent in 2021 compared to the same period in 2019 and the first quarter of 2022 is already showing a 99 percent recovery.

Frozen fish recorded a 952 percent recovery in 2021, compared to the same period in 2019. The recovery remained strong moving into the first quarter of 2022 at 159 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

– CAJ News

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