Cape Town Air Access boosts economic growth in the Western Cape

Cape Town Air Access
Photo credit: Cape town Air Access/Wesgro

Cape Town Air Access is an outstanding example of a government and public sector collaboration that works.  The project was born out of adversity when Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) lost two significant international airlines.

Recognising that international connectivity and accessibility is a key enabler of economic prosperity and job creation in the province and city, the Western Cape Provincial Government and City of Cape Town, together with partners Cape Town Tourism and Airports Company South Africa, mandated Wesgro in 2015 to set up a division that would focus exclusively on international route development for the CTIA. The success of the project speaks for itself.
Within the first three years of operation 13 new routes and 15 route expansions have been announced. This equates to an additional 750 000 international inbound seats, doubling the capacity at the Airport. The estimated effect on direct tourism spending for the Province amounts to R4.2 billion.

CTIA subsequently has seen significant growth figures over this period. In 2016, the Airport reached the 10 million passenger mark for the first time, driven by an impressive 16% growth in international terminal passengers. This was followed by 20% growth in international terminal passengers in 2017, with total airport passengers increasing to 10.7 million. Due to the increased number of flights and airlines serving the airport, the volume of cargo handled has also increased substantially resulting in aircraft belly freight increasing by 52% in 2017 to a record high of 57 000 tonnes.

Winning for a third year in a row, CTIA was crowned as the best airport in Africa and ranked 21st best airport in the world – beating world renowned airports such as Dubai, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Atlanta, at the annual SKYTRAX World Airport Awards held in March 2018.
Following the successes of Cape Town Air Access, South African Tourism joined as a partner sponsor in 2017 together with private sector funders including Investec, Naspers, Leeu Collection and Tsogo Sun – all of which contribute directly to the route development initiatives of the Air Access team.

Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, commented: “Cape Town Air Access has played a vital role in boosting economic growth and job creation in the Cape.”

“By making it easier for people to visit our beautiful city and province, tourism, trade and investment will increase. Our Air Access team remains dedicated to expanding direct flight offerings, connecting Cape Town to many other cities around the world.”

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