New CT airport terminal opens
Cape Town - Travellers at Cape Town International Airport on Sunday could not stop talking about the new central terminal building.
This building was opened at 05:00 on Saturday, with thousands of passengers using the new communal check-in area for the first time. Passengers on international as well as domestic flights now use the same terminal for departures.
The airport was hampered for about an hour on Sunday afternoon by power cuts, said Deirdre Hendricks of the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa).
"It is an example of teething problems that may be expected when a brand new system is put in place," she said.
The power cuts caused delays on incoming and departing flights.
According to Hendricks, the opening of the building was otherwise a huge success and she said it was an important milestone in the redevelopment of the airport.
"Everything so far has run smoothly and all complaints and enquiries were handled. It is a priority for us to support passengers in the transformation process of the airport."
About 100 temporary airport officials will be ready to help airport users for the next two weeks.
The new, fully automated baggage system is completely operational and currently handles 3 000 bags and suitcases per hour.
According to a traveller, André Oosthuizen from Paarl, who had visited several airports in the world, this airport was of a world-class standard.
"It has a very international feeling."
Alan Vels from Durban said it was nice not to have to look for a seat at one of the restaurants.
According to Dean Abbott from Cape Town, the building looked very attractive and the service from staff and employees at the shops was excellent.
But the delays from the South African Express airline left a bad taste in the mouth of many passengers.
About 80 passengers who were supposed to leave Cape Town for Port Elizabeth at 08:10 and 10:40, only left at 12:25.
According to one of the passengers, Bennie Howard, a wine consultant from Somerset West, it was an extremely frustrating situation, especially as airline staff didn't sufficiently communicate with them.
Clarisse Coetzee, marketing manager for Kaap-Rapport, said she had missed an important business meeting as a result of the delay.
Dileseng Koetie, media spokesperson for South African Express, said flights were delayed due to technical problems.
Technicians had to wait for spare parts from Johannesburg.