ACSA: Airport passenger traffic continues its steady climb
In spite of tough market conditions as a result of poor economic performance, the three months of November 2011 to January 2012 showed that 9,2 million passengers, representing a 2,9 percent growth when compared to the same period a year ago, were facilitated through Airports Company South Africa’s (ACSA’s) countrywide network of airports.
Traffic was boosted noticeably over the summer period at Cape Town International Airport due to additional international seasonal capacity and the introduction of Velvet Sky’s flights. The airport recorded impressive increases in international passenger travel over the previous year, with November’s traffic growing by 12 percent, whist December and January each showed a 17 percent rise.
Expectations were high for King Shaka International Airport to capitalise on the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) held from 28 November to 9 December 2011. During this period, the airport’s scheduled domestic traffic increased by 7,1 percent with 10 380 additional visitors. International traffic grew exceptionally by 105 percent, with an average flight occupancy of 95 percent.
Although our busiest airport, O.R. Tambo International saw a modest 1,5 percent growth during the three comparing months. Statistics confirm that the hub remains southern Africa’s gateway with an average of 1,6 million passengers making their way through these gates on a monthly basis.
Overall traffic results showed that ACSA facilitated a total of 29,9 million arriving and departing passengers between April 2011 and January 2012, an increase of 2,6 percent over the previous corresponding period. If peak figures for the 2010 FIFA World Cup were removed, normalised growth for the period ending in January 2012 could be as high as 5,6 percent.
Of the 29,9 million passengers, domestic traffic grew by 3,1 percent to 20,8 million travellers (70 percent of the total market), whilst consolidated international and regional traffic showed a 2,7 percent growth to 8,9 million passengers (30 percent of the total market).
These are encouraging indications of an improvement in air travel numbers and it is hoped that growth will be maintained through 2012.