Air Access project is opening the Western Cape to the World. A number of additional flight routes into Cape Town International Airport will be launching in the next few weeks, allowing for more visitors from key tourism and trade markets to reach Cape Town and the Western Cape with ease.
The Air Access project has notched up remarkable successes in opening the Western Cape to the world in 2018. The project is a combined effort between the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town, Wesgro, Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town Tourism, South African Tourism and the private sector.
In this year alone, Air Access has secured new routes with three airlines, six route expansions and connected Cape Town with four new destinations, all of which will add an additional 106 000 inbound seats.
It is estimated that these new additions will create direct tourism spending of R620 million, bringing the total contribution to direct tourism spending created by the Air Access team’s work since July 2015, to R4.1 billion.
- On March 25, Kenyan Airways will increase the frequency of its flight from Nairobi to Cape Town via Livingstone, from three flights per week, to four.
- TAAG airlines will also increase the frequency of its flight from Luanda to Cape Town from three to four times a week from March 25.
- From 26 March, Singapore Airlines will fly to Cape Town daily, via Johannesburg, increasing from four flights per week.
- From March 28, Air Mauritius will expand capacity from narrow body to wide-body aircraft with two flights per week between Mauritius and Cape Town.
Minister Winde said “Kenya and Angola are among the fastest growing economies on the continent. The expanded flight schedules between Cape Town and Luanda, and Cape Town and Nairobi, are proof of the excellent trade and tourism opportunities that exist between our economies”.
There are also a number of exciting new routes that will be launching later this year, including:
- RwandAir’s flight between Kigali and Cape Town, stopping in Harare, operating four times per week, launching in May.
- In June, Kenya Airways will start operating its non-stop, five hour flight between Nairobi and Cape Town, three times per week.
- From October, Austrian Airlines will operate two non-stop, seasonal flights between Vienna and Cape Town per week.
- In a major move, in November, Cathay Pacific will launch its three times weekly, non-stop, seasonal flight between Hong Kong and Cape Town.
Minister Winde continued “These flights reflect our sustained focus on growing our partnerships across Africa, and with Asia. Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, and we saw a nine percent increase in the number of arrivals from there in 2017. The addition of a direct flight between Hong Kong and Cape Town makes it that much easier for visitors from the East to reach us.”
Minister Winde congratulated the Air Access team saying “this is one of our most successful Project Khulisa programmes to date. Since its inception in 2015, this joint venture has added an additional 700 000 inbound seats into Cape Town, opened up 13 new routes, and negotiated 14 expansions. These figures all translate into an increase in the number of visitors to the Western Cape, and most importantly, the creation of new jobs in the tourism industry.”
A study commissioned by the Air Access team and conducted by Grant Thornton anticipates that the addition of a new flight like the Cathay Pacific flight, could create an additional 1 000 jobs in the Western Cape economy.
Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said: “Cape Town Air Access is setting a new standard for public-private sector collaboration in improving air access, and in doing so, helping boost tourism, trade and investment.”
“Represented by all levels of government, this partnership shows that collaboration is not only possible, but is also highly effective. The more than 1.5 million seats added to Cape Town in both directions since 2015 is proof of this. On behalf of the Air Access team, I would like to thank all our partners for helping make this programme a huge success. We are committed to work even harder in the next financial year, as we seek to connect the Cape with more places around the world.”