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Cape Town Air Access, powered by Wesgro, drives African route development at AviaDev Africa 2023

Celebrated as the premier event for route development in the African aviation industry, Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) – a public private ecosystem initiative powered by Wesgro – will be attending AviaDev Africa 2023 in Nairobi from 14 to 16 June.

Providing an invaluable platform to showcase Cape Town and the Western Cape’s positive aviation recovery and subsequent growth – as seen in the last International Air Transport Association Winter Season (November 2022 until March 2023) – the event programme provides meaningful engagement with the African aviation landscape, providing an opportunity to identify new direct routes, and expand on existing frequencies.

Gathering over 400 attendees from leading airlines, airports, tourism boards, and other aviation professionals, the event fosters a conducive environment for strategic discussions and negotiations. Furthermore, AviaDev affords CTAA the opportunity to highlight its accomplishments and share best practices with industry peers from across the continent.

Since its inception in 2015, the CTAA project has been instrumental in transforming Cape Town’s aviation landscape – driving economic growth, bolstering tourism, and increasing air cargo capacity to and from the Cape. Notably, the international terminal achieved a significant milestone in February 2023, with passenger performance recording a complete recovery when compared to February 2020, welcoming over 258,000 passengers.

This positive trend continued into the first quarter of 2023, with April recording a 39% year-on-year growth when compared to the same period in 2022. Furthermore, through its dedication to improving Cape Town’s African route network, the project has welcomed six additional African carriers to Cape Town’s international route network, contributing to the province’s connectivity to 11 countries and 15 destinations across Africa.

“Our presence at AviaDev Africa 2023 underscores the project’s commitment to fostering sustainable air connectivity to Cape Town and the wider African continent” said Wrenelle Stander, the Official Spokesperson for Cape Town Air Access.

“Together with our project partners, Cape Town Air Access has consistently demonstrated its ability to achieve results. For the IATA Winter Season (Nov – Mar) 2022/23, the project welcomed 4 direct new routes and 3 new airlines to Cape Town International Airport, resulting in a capacity increase of 200 000 two-way seats over the period,” added Stander.

African aviation has proven to be resilient, with two-way passengers between Cape Town and the rest of Africa growing by 80% year-on-year from 2021 to 2022. Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana were the top three countries for two-way passengers in 2022 – with Lagos (Nigeria) and Lusaka (Zambia) being the top unserved African destinations for the province.

Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, said: “More routes and increased frequencies has a direct impact on the Province’s economy. The international terminal at Cape Town International Airport saw a 90% year-on-year growth for the first four months of 2023 – when compared to the same period in 2022 – with over 1 million passengers passing through the terminal.

Beyond the tourism boost, 1 million passengers holds the promise of a potential investment, a potential trade deal being struck, a potential event being hosted in the Province, and a potential film crew returning to shoot their next blockbuster. Air connectivity is vital in sustaining a healthy economy and creating jobs. We wish the team a fruitful trip to market.”

“AviaDev is the ideal opportunity to expand Cape Town’s reach into the rest of Africa. The City’s recognises aviation as a key pillar for our mission to realise a tourism-related job in every household in the metro. Cape Town International Airport witnessed a fantastic rebound in air travellers in the past year and through our campaigns and work with the Air Access initiative, we look set for even better growth in the months ahead”, commented Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth at the City of Cape Town, Alderman James Vos.

“The growing air connectivity into Cape Town is providing immeasurable stimulus to our city and region, at the time when the country needs to attract business investment and also grow its tourism. This initiative has enormous potential to expand and to deliver greater job creation and economic benefits. The Air Access team are doing a great job unlocking the relationships and networks necessary to turning opportunities into reality for Cape Town and we expect no less success of their presence at AviaDev Africa 2023”, concluded project partner and CEO of the V&A Waterfront, David Green.

Cape Town Air Access, powered by Wesgro, drives African route development at AviaDev Africa 2023
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