2016 was record breaking regarding the numbers of international and domestic travellers in South Africa. The average growth of passenger numbers was 5.3 % in comparison to 2015.
The indicators in the recent past were obvious and well recognized by the Media, e.g.
The South African daily TOURISM UPDATE, which already reported a high number of foreign visitors in 2016.
To handle the rising numbers of passengers, an increased capacity plan for the festive period during Christmas and New Year was announced by the Department of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in December 2016.
Firstly, since complaints about the biometrics capturing systems caused long queues and flight delays in all South African airports. Secondly to handle more passengers, especially at O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg as Africa’s busiest airport.
The Department of Home Affairs declared furthermore to rise the number of immigration officials employed at the OR Tambo International for 2017/2018.
Maybe the Department should release even more capacities:
The latest passenger data from the Aviation Barometer of Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) proves now, that the country is on the rise as a destination of choice for international travellers. ACSA even says their number broke records and climbed a historical height in 2016, since its network of nine airports in total served 39 million passengers.
More precisely, exactly 38.7 million passengers have been facilitated, which is a 5.4 % increase from 2015.
But not only the quantity of passengers has risen, also the quality of their processing has improved:
OAG, an UK based travel analyst listed Cape Town 6th, OR Tambo 8th and Durban 10th on its small airport punctuality list, a very positive indicator for the quality of ACSA’s work. And 20 new routes, more scheduled flights and additional passenger capacity have been introduced in 2016.
Within all the South African airports, OR Tambo International remains South Africa’s largest airport, with more than 20 million passengers hosted in 2016, but ‘only’ an under-average growth rate of 3.8 %. And OR Tambo International made significant upgrades, especially to security systems which are piloted at the airport, costing an estimated R 35m.
The second biggest airport in South Africa, Cape Town International also crossed a major milestone with the facilitation of 10 million passengers in 2016 and made progress in route development and enhancement to the city underscoring the growth.
Due to these enhancements, the airport managed a 7.3 % above-average growth in 2016 compared to 2015.
All the mentioned numbers deal with the growth rates on international travellers.
But there was a remarkable growth within numbers of domestic passenger too: Here, arrivals rose to 13.6 million passengers, while departures were on 13.7 million passengers, both numbers increased by 5.3 % in respect of 2015.
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