Air passenger numbers climbed steady year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, according to Airports Company South Africa’s (ACSA’s) latest Aviation Barometer for the three months to September 30.
ACSA recorded a 4.4% year-on-year increase in total arrivals and departures, compared with the third-quarter in 2015. This increase included a total of 4.98-million arrivals and 4.77-million departures across the group’s network of airports.
ACSA noted that, while domestic passenger traffic is traditionally lower in absolute numbers during the third quarter, as a result of it being winter in South Africa, arrivals and departures still increased by 3.8% and 2.7% respectively.
The King Shaka International Airport, in KwaZulu-Natal, in particular, delivered standout figures, where total arrivals and departures figures were up by 8.5%, owing to new airlines using the airport, while others introduced new flights. The airport recorded a total of 1.3-million passengers arriving and/or departing from the Durban airport, compared with 1.2-million passengers in the same period in 2015, reflecting an increase of 8.4%.
ACSA further highlighted continued growth in regional air travel between South Africa and four of its neighbours, namely Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Botswana. Regional arrivals increased by 7.8% while departures increased by 8.5%.
Internationally, total arrivals rose by 5.5% while departures rose by 5.7% year-on-year, which ACSA attributed to the northern hemisphere’s summer season.
This is ACSA’s second edition of the Aviation Barometer, which aims to provide a snapshot of local travel trends, helping aviation stakeholders track the sector’s performance by assessing the impact of macro- and microeconomic factors on air traffic.