King Shaka on course to hit pre-pandemic levels

from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban DURBAN, (CAJ News) PASSENGER movement at the King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) is now at 68 percent pre-COVID levels.The recovery could have been higher if Comair had not ceased operations in June 2022.KSIA stated that while passenger movement for the year April 2022 to March 2023 was down from the 6,1 million passengers per year recorded before the outbreak of COVID-19, the airport had significantly recovered its pre-pandemic route network. Overall traffic recovery remains heavily influenced by the performance of its domestic market.Around 93 percent of the pre-COVID-19 traffic is attributed to the domestic market segment. "However, it (KSIA) remains behind O.R. Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport, which have recovered 72 percent and 76 percent respectively of pre-pandemic traffic," said KSIA Regional General Manager, Nkosinathi Myataza.He said the Comair grounding and subsequent liquidation resulted in about 38 percent of KSIA's capacity being lost, resulting in capacity shortages and an increase in the cost of travel. "This contributed to constraining demand for air travel and has had a negative impact on the recovery trajectory," Myataza continued.Airlines such as Airlink, Fly Cemair, Fly Safair and Lift have increased their capacity in the third quarter of the current fiscal year to fill in the gap left by Comair's grounding. This resulted in ticket prices stabilising for some domestic markets."Collectively there have been some significant inroads to boosting tourism," Myataza said. He is confident the airport in Durban is on track to full recovery to pre-pandemic levels, as the airport management continues to leverage opportunities presented by emerging air travel developments and trends."Positioning KSIA as a gateway into the destination is an important pillar for ACSA's airlift programme to enhance the development of its Southern Africa route network," Myataza stated. CSA is the Airports Company of South Africa. CAJ News

Source: CAJ News Agency