Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMI Airport) are pleased to announce the signing of a cooperation agreement. The official announcement was made last night, at the AviaDev Africa 2019 conference in Cape Town.
CTAA will assist KMI Airport in developing its’ air route network while promoting the airport to an international market.
The agreement has been signed for a 2-year period (from April 2019 until April 2021), and is set to improve connectivity between Cape Town and Nelspruit, growing tourism between the regions, and improving accessibility into Mbombela, the capital city of Mpumalanga.
“According to data from OAG, KMI Airport saw a 1% increase in passenger traffic in 2018 with a total 284 202 passengers travelling through the airport, and 60 000 passengers flying between Cape Town and KMI Airport annually. With the assistance of Cape Town Air Access, we believe we can further grow the potential that South Africa and Mpumalanga has to offer, both to locals as well as international business and tourism visitors” says Marius Nel, CEO of KMI Airport.
KMI Airport is the official international port of entry into Mpumalanga and home to one of the world’s most iconic game reserves, the Kruger National Park. The privately-owned airport has welcomed over 3 million passengers since it began operations in October 2002. Boasting a total floor space of 7350 square meters, this is the largest thatch constructed airport in the world, a true architectural masterpiece.
Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, adds, “As we continue to grow air connectivity into the Western Cape, we want to share the spirit of collaboration that is embodied in the CTAA project which has proved to be the foundation for success in the region. Using a similar model with other regions within South Africa will not only contribute growth to their region but will also enhance our offering. Our partnership with KMI Airport provides, for example, the opportunity to package a popular ‘Cape Town to Kruger National Park (via the Garden Route)’ itinerary which is an attractive proposition for international visitors. With CTAA currently advising the Nelson Mandela Bay Chamber of Commerce on route development and network improvement to Port Elizabeth, the cooperation agreement allows for tourism entities to work together and provide visitors with a rich offering.”
With Airlink recently adding capacity on the Cape Town – Nelspruit route, the improvement in connectivity has shown an early start. The announcement being made at AviaDev Africa will also boost the profile of the agreement within the African aviation community as this conference is the premier forum dedicated to growing connectivity to, from and within the African continent. Hosted in Cape Town for the second consecutive year and attracting approximately 300 airline professionals from around the world in its fourth year, AviaDev Africa is attended by airports, airlines, tourism authorities, governments and industry suppliers.
Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) is a collaborative project and the focal point for proactive international air route development in the Western Cape. Since project commencement in July 2015, CTAA has assisted Cape Town International Airport in establishing 14 new routes – including the new Newark – Cape Town route that will be operated by United Airlines – and expanding 19 existing routes. During this period, more than 750,000 inbound seats were added to the network, doubling international seat capacity at the airport and adding an estimated R6 billion in direct tourism spending to the economy.