Tourism officials are optimistic that the upcoming summer season in the Western Cape will be a bumper one, with Wesgro revealing data that points to international seat capacity surging by 25% for the upcoming peak season between November 2023 and March 2024.
That translates into over one million international inbound seats, when compared to the same period 2022/23.
The Regional Manager for Cape Town International Airport Mark Maclean says they are ensuring the airport is ready to welcome travelers.
“We are aware of the expected increase in capacity for the upcoming season, and as such we are preparing ourselves to face any potential challenges that may arise with this anticipated surge. The ACSA team at Cape Town International Airport are dedicated to ensuring a smooth and successful summer season and as always, our top priorities remain the safety and satisfaction of every passenger passing through our world-class airport.”
Wesgro’s Cape Town Air Access project managed to secure a total of seven high-profile airlines and seven new routes added to Cape Town’s international route network – including three intercontinental carriers (Air Belgium, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic) – since September 2022.
Two additional destinations were added to the United States staple – with Atlanta (operated by Delta Airlines), and Washington DC (operated by United Airlines), secured by the Air Access team last year.
In addition, the inaugural SAA intercontinental flight, connecting Cape Town to São Paulo, will commence with two weekly flights from end of next month, 31 October.
Wesgro says the securing of this direct route is significant, as São Paulo has long been the highest unserved market for Cape Town, and the flight on 31 October marks the return of South African Airways to the destination following an 11 year international absence.
Other notable expansions included Airlink adding Maputo to its network – a route that has significantly amplified the carrier’s regional connectivity to Cape Town and the Western Cape.
The Air Access team also secured two new African routes this year – Eswatini Air’s Manzini-Cape Town route, as well as Proflight Zambia’s Lusaka-Cape Town flight, in June and July respectively.
Building on this momentum, the team announced the securing of LAM – Mozambique Airlines’ maiden flight between Maputo and Cape Town, commencing on 15 October with three weekly flights.
The CEO of Wesgro Wrenelle Stander the introduction of new carriers connects Cape Town and the Western Cape to vital source markets in America and Europe, while the emerging growth in African and South American markets signals their increasing significance in our future tourism and business landscape.
“The Cape Town Air Access team remains resolute in its commitment to enhancing connectivity and accessibility for travelers, and looks forward to another year of remarkable progress and growth.”
The MEC of Finance and Economic Development Mireille Wenger says more tourists mean more jobs.
“It really is such a pleasure to celebrate the incredible increase in the number of flights and new destinations secured by the Air Access team, powered by Wesgro. In just one year, since September 2022, this impressive team has secured seven new destinations across four continents. The contribution these connections make to inclusive economic growth and job creation in the province, cannot be underestimated.”
By December this year, 31 000 passengers are expected to travel through Cape Town International Airport per day, with approximately 200 international flights landing every week.