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Cape Town Air Access drives growth & increased air connectivity to Cape Town & the Western Cape

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Date: 6 March 2019

Forming the focal point for proactive international  air route development in Cape Town and the Western Cape, the initiative has  launched 13 new routes and facilitated 19 route expansions since their inception in 2015.


This has doubled seat capacity at Cape Town  International Airport, adding 1.5 million two-way seats to the Cape Town  network, contributing and estimated R6 billion in direct tourism spend since July 2015.


A key theme for the evening was turning adversity into  opportunity, as the Province emerged from a challenging year with the drought creating uncertainty for visitors.


Addressing guests was Western Cape Premier, Helen  Zille, who discussed how Cape Town and the Western Cape has become renowned for  turning disasters into opportunities. “When you hit a disaster, it is the  partnerships that get you out,” commented Zille, who went on to congratulate  the collaborative project as being a prime example of an initiative that has done this particularly well - with the project continuing to grow air connectivity despite the challenges facing the province and country at large in 2018.


“We’re in competition with everyone for tourists, business and investment. We want Cape Town to succeed because we want to see South Africa succeed. If South Africa succeeds, Africa succeeds,” added Zille.


Continuing the theme of collaboration, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, highlighted how collaborating to grow air connectivity is happening around South Africa, with the CTAA team actively engaging with Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo International Airport and Nelson Mandela Bay to see  how a similar model can be implemented to boost air connectivity to these provinces.


“The real success of the project is reflected in the  international terminal passenger growth, with 16% growth recorded in 2016, 20%  growth in 2017, and 9% growth for 2018 in two-way passengers. International air  cargo has also seen phenomenal, recording 52% growth during 2017 due to the  added belly-freight capacity. In addition to this, business class passenger  numbers have experienced exceptional growth over the last few years with 15% growth  in 2017, and 10% in 2018,” added Harris.


Highlights for the past year included:


  • Three  new airlines added to the Cape Town network: RwandAir, Austrian Airlines, and  Cathay Pacific;
  • four new  destinations added: Kigali, Harare, Vienna, and Hong Kong;
  • CTAA  awarded Best Destination Marketing Award and overall Route Africa award at  Routes Africa 2018;
  • CTAA  awarded Highly Commended award at in the Destination Marketing category at  World Routes 2018;
  • the  initiative hosted the AviaDev Africa 2018 conference which welcomed 172 route  development representatives from 29 countries, including representatives from  23 airlines.


In  the upcoming financial year, CTAA will look to focus on air cargo development  in the Western Cape, which has recorded over 50% increase in 2017 since the  projects inception, and facilitate cooperation initiatives with other airports  and partners in South Africa. In terms of route development, facilitating new,  and expanding on existing routes in Africa will remain a key theme, with the  initiative actively in the process of looking to develop a direct flight  between North America and Cape Town International Airport.


"Air Access has shown excellent results in  creating new routes and growing the numbers of people coming into the Western  Cape. By creating direct routes and making it easier to access the province,  Air Access also plays an important role in developing trade relations and  growing tourism. Going forward, we will continue to focus on developing new  routes, especially across Africa, and exploring the potential for growing cargo  further which will help to further grow our economy and create new jobs," commented Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverly Schäfer.


Taking  a more in-depth look at how the aviation economy can boost connectivity and  investment, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and  Asset Management, Alderman James Vos said: “Weaving  the urban fabric of the surrounding area and influencing economic and social  growth, airports are quickly becoming anchors for a new type of city. No longer  are they just locations where aircrafts land and depart, they are destinations  where businesses grow, people live and development flourishes. Aerotropolis  cities are destined to be the economic engine of the 21st century.  As a globally forward looking city, we will look at ways to implement and  support this concept.”


“We have seen excellent results from the air access  programme.  Whilst air connectivity is critical to our region; it is key  to boosting tourism and investment.  The airport is gearing up for its  expansion to meet the current demand.  A special thank you to all airlines  for choosing Cape Town.  Together we look forward to enabling more route  into our region,” concluded Deon Cloete, General Manager of Cape Town International  Airport.


Cape Town Air Access is a partnership between the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Wesgro, Cape Town Tourism, South African Tourism, Airports Company South Africa and private sector partners.


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