The Cape Town International Airport domestic terminal has continued its post-third wave recovery for the first two weeks of September, with the domestic passenger numbers reaching 49% of 2019 levels. The periods compared are 1-12 September 2021, and 1-12 September 2019.
The international passenger terminal recovery sits at 24% of 2019 levels for the first two weeks of September, the highest monthly recovery percentage since the restart of international travel in October 2020.
"We are pleased to see the renewed growth in domestic and international travel as travel restrictions are eased and airlines return to the airport and offer passengers more travel options. We are ready to welcome passengers back to our airport and continue to focus on health and safety. Airport users will also experience new and improved facilities and processes when they visit the airport," says Mark Maclean, acting general manager.
The 2021 year-to-date passenger terminal recovery is 44% for domestic passengers and only 14% for international passengers, compared to 2019, but these figures, especially on the international side, are expected to gain more momentum as the South African summer season approaches.
International carriers are gradually adding capacity into the Cape Town market. Lufthansa will be increasing the Frankfurt-Cape Town service to three flights per week from 24 September, and Emirates are planning to increase the Dubai-Cape Town service to a daily flight from 31 October onwards.
Alderman James Vos, mayoral member for economic opportunities, tourism and asset management at the City of Cape Town, comments: "Together with our official destination marketing organisation, Cape Town Tourism, the City is rolling out several marketing campaigns to draw in domestic and international travellers. This includes the pocket-friendly campaign to show that Cape Town is an affordable destination, the ‘Explore Captivating Cape Town’ local marketing campaign, the ‘Find Your Freedom’ international campaign, and branding in airports and billboards in key source markets.
"This is coupled with our messaging around Cape Town being a safe destination due to the uptake of the vaccine together with continued and appropriate adherence to Covid safety protocols. The City of Cape Town is proud of our contribution to Air Access and, in turn, their efforts to help us connect Cape Town with source markets around the world.”
Western Cape minister of finance and economic opportunities, David Maynier, says: "These results are promising for our local industry, which is key to economic recovery and job creation in the Western Cape. With the decrease in Covid-19 infections and the exit from our third wave peak, together with the continued successful Covid-19 vaccination rollout in the province, we hope to see these numbers increase as the festive season draws closer.
"We’ll continue with our efforts to ensure the most successful summer season by tackling barriers to growth in the tourism and hospitality sector, increasing connectivity to the region and running our highly targeted marketing campaigns that showcase the best that Cape Town and the Western Cape has to offer.”
"We’re pleased to see the gradual uptick in air confidence and are particularly thrilled that four out of our top six tourism source markets have, in the past month, permitted the resumption of travel for fully-vaccinated tourists. With continued lobbying efforts alongside our partners for the removal of South Africa off the 'red list', we hope to see the UK follow suit soon.
"Furthermore, with the festive season fast approaching and traveller confidence increasing with the ramped-up national vaccination efforts, we look forward to welcoming back friends from our neighbouring provinces to enjoy a world within one Province on offer in Cape Town and the Western Cape," concluded Yaw Peprah, Wesgro’s acting CEO.