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Africa braces for expanded aviation networks

Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) has confirmed its participation at AviaDev Africa 2023 in Nairobi from 14 to 16 June.
Source: Pexels

Wesgro powers Cape Town Air Access (CTAA), a public-private ecosystem initiative.

Gathering more than 400 attendees from airlines, airports, and tourism boards, the event provides engagement with the African aviation landscape, providing an opportunity to identify new direct routes, and to expand on existing frequencies.

Since its inception in 2015, the CTAA project has driven economic growth, bolstering tourism, and increasing air-cargo capacity to and from the Cape. Notably, in February 2023 the international terminal recorded a complete recovery when - benchmarked against February 2020 - it welcomed over 258,000 passengers.

This positive trend continued into the first quarter of 2023, with April recording a 39% year-on-year growth when compared to the same period in 2022.

Furthermore, the project has welcomed six additional African carriers to Cape Town's international route network, contributing to the province's connectivity to 11 countries and 15 destinations across Africa.

"Our presence at AviaDev Africa 2023 underscores the project’s commitment to fostering sustainable air connectivity to Cape Town and the wider African continent,” said Wrenelle Stander, the official spokesperson for Cape Town Air Access.

"Together with our project partners, Cape Town Air Access has consistently demonstrated its ability to achieve results. For the International Air Transport Association winter season (November 2022 to March 2023), the project welcomed four direct new routes and three new airlines to Cape Town International Airport, resulting in a capacity increase of 200,000 two-way seats over the period,” added Stander.

Resilient African aviation

African aviation has proven to be resilient, with two-way passengers between Cape Town and the rest of Africa growing by 80% year-on-year from 2021 to 2022. Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana were the top three countries for two-way passengers in 2022 - with Lagos (Nigeria) and Lusaka (Zambia) being the top unserved African destinations for the province.

Western Cape minister of finance and economic opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said: “More routes and increased frequencies have a direct impact on the province’s economy. The international terminal at Cape Town International Airport saw a 90% year-on-year growth for the first four months of 2023 - when compared to the same period in 2022 - with more than 1 million passengers passing through the terminal.

Beyond the tourism boost, 1 million passengers holds the promise of a potential investment, a potential trade deal being struck, a potential event being hosted in the province, and a potential film crew returning to shoot their next blockbuster. Air connectivity is vital in sustaining a healthy economy and creating jobs. We wish the team a fruitful trip to market.”

“AviaDev is the ideal opportunity to expand Cape Town's reach into the rest of Africa. The City recognises aviation as a key pillar for our mission to realise a tourism-related job in every household in the metro.

Revitalised air travel

"Cape Town International Airport witnessed a fantastic rebound in air travellers in the past year and through our campaigns and work with the Air Access initiative, we look set for even better growth in the months ahead,” commented mayoral committee member for economic growth at the City of Cape Town, Alderman James Vos.

“The growing air connectivity into Cape Town is providing stimulus to our city and region, at a time when the country needs to attract business investment and also grow its tourism. This initiative has enormous potential to expand and to deliver greater job creation and economic benefits.

The Air Access team is doing a great job unlocking the relationships and networks necessary to turn opportunities into reality for Cape Town and we expect no less of a success when it comes to their presence at AviaDev Africa 2023,” concluded project partner and chief executive officer of the V&A Waterfront, David Green.

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