Visitors stream through SA airports
Johannesburg - There was an "impressive" increase in passenger traffic at airports countrywide from November 2011 to January this year, Airports Company SA (Acsa) said on Monday.
"These are encouraging indications of an improvement in air travel numbers and it is hoped that growth will be maintained through 2012," spokesperson Solomon Makgale said in a statement.
"In spite of tough market conditions as a result of poor economic performance, the three months... showed that 9.2 million passengers... were facilitated through... a countrywide network of airports."
This represented a 2.9% growth when compared to the same period a year ago.
"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 flights," he said.
The airport recorded "impressive" increases in international passenger travel over the previous year, with November's traffic growing by 12%, while December and January each had a 17% rise.
In December during the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban, the number of flights at King Shaka International Airport increased by 7.1% with 10 380 additional visitors.
"International traffic grew exceptionally by 105%, with an average flight occupancy of 95%."
Makgale said although OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg saw a modest 1.5% growth during the three months, statistics confirmed it remained southern Africa's traffic hub with an average of 1.6 million passengers passing through it each month.
"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," Makgale said.