KZN to stage whistle-stop air tour

2012-05-04 00:00

mlondi radebe

KWAZULU-NATAL launched a first-of-its-kind air show that will take place at six airfields to promote tourism around the province.

The annual event was launched at Virginia airport in Durban yesterday.

The Winter Air Tour show will be held at airports in Newcastle, Richards Bay, Ulundi, Pietermaritzburg, Margate and Durban on Saturdays from June 2.

Show organiser Brain Emmenis said this was the first show of its kind in the world with a variety of aircraft — from jumbo jets, to Falcons and helicopters — put through their paces in an annual event that could be enjoyed by all.

Economic Development and Tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, speaking at the launch, said the show would boost tourism and the economy in the province.

Finance MEC Ina Cronjé said regional airports could be valuable assets in tourism development, especially when combined with neighbouring businesses.

“Across the globe the days of travelling hundreds of kilometres to the nearest major airport are numbered,” she said, and quoted an analysis by Global Aviation that predicted “a shift to point-to-point travel”. “It is estimated that regional and commuter aviation will have increased by 25% in 2016.

She said multi-airport systems will be a key mechanism by which air transportation systems would meet future demand,” Cronjé said.

The bottom line, she added, was that the tours would be good for business.

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