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South African commercial aviation activity consolidates modest recovery

Taxi way at OR Tambo International Airport

Taxi way at OR Tambo International Airport

Photo by Duane Daws/Creamer Media

13th November 2017

By: Keith Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (Caasa) reported on Monday that its Aviation Activity Index (Caai) for the third quarter of this year had “consolidated its modest recovery from a disappointing first quarter”. The Caai is a composite index created to provide an indicator of economic activity in the commercial aviation sector that is balanced and objective.

The first quarter experienced a sharp decline which, for the first time, took the Caai below the base period level of 100. Because of this, the downward trend of the three-month moving average has not yet swung back upwards. However, it has stayed above the base period level of 100. (The base period is the first quarter of 2014.)

Of the 25 indicators used in the creation of the Caai, 13 went up (improved) during the first half of the year, while 12 went down. “To a large extent, this split explains the marginal movement in the index during the 3rd quarter,” stated Caasa.

The improvement in the Caai since the first quarter has largely been due to the value of aircraft imports and to the number of air traffic movements at the country’s main airports. (It is because buying and selling aircraft, which involves small volumes but high values, creates short-term volatility, that the index uses a three-month moving average trend.)

Regarding air traffic movements, and compared to the average since 2014, the large airports that performed the best have been OR Tambo International (Johannesburg), Cape Town and Durban. Among the airports that do not belong to the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), those that did best were Pietermaritzburg, Rand, Grand Central, Nelspruit and Lanseria.

According to the Caai, South African commercial aviation activity has increased at an average yearly rate of 4% since the base period. This is in line with the performance of the whole economy over the same time.

The 25 indicators that make up the Caai are combined into seven groups. These are: the value of imports of helicopters; the value of imports of aeroplanes with a mass less than 15 t; the number of aircraft imported; the value of aircraft spares imported; the value of aircraft exports; the number of air traffic movements at six Acsa airports; and the number of air traffic movements at seven non-Acsa airports.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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