The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) released its 'Aviation Barometer: Quarter 1/January 2017 - March 2017' report on Tuesday. This is the latest in the company’s quarterly reports on passenger flows through its nine airports. “Overall passenger growth in the first quarter of 2017 was subdued,” stated the report, “with total arrivals up by a marginal 0.8% and departures increasing by 1.3%.” All the figures are in comparison to the first quarter of last year.
ACSA subdivides the passenger traffic through its airports into domestic – flying to and from other airports in South Africa, including those not owned by the company; regional – flying to and from Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland; and international – flying to and from everywhere else in the world. It was international traffic that was, by far, the strongest sector in terms of growth, and domestic the weakest.
“International arrivals rose by 5.6% while international departures went up by 7.6%, which contributed to the overall passenger figures remaining in positive territory,” reported the Barometer. In numbers, international passenger arrivals in the first quarter came to 1 449 122 while departures amounted to 1 465 887.
Regional arrivals decreased by 0.03% to 121 482 passengers, while regional departures were 0.2% down, at 123 406 passengers. The report nevertheless stated that “[t]ravel to neighbouring countries remained healthy”.
Domestic arrivals declined by 1.03%, numbering 3 376 274. Domestic departures fell by 1.1% to 3 390 996 passengers.
“Cape Town International Airport was the standout performer with international arrivals going up by 24.9% to 64 610 passengers and international departures growing by 29.5% to 77 003 passengers,” stated the report. “King Shaka International Airport [Durban] showed encouraging growth for international arrivals, which increased by 8.1%, translating into 3 200 extra passengers. Departures increased by 3 452 passengers, up 8.4% compared to 2016. This translates into a record growth of 8.5%. Cape Town International came in second with 7.1% and OR Tambo International Airport [Johannesburg] experienced a 4% growth.”