It’s all systems go for peak travel season at Asca airports

Airports Corporation of South Africa (Acsa) says it is “ready” and ready to handle the millions of passengers who will pass through its airports during the upcoming travel peak this festive season.

The company noted during a press conference on Tuesday morning that the busiest days for departures and arrivals at its key hubs: OR Tambo International Airport (Ortia), Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and the King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) will be on Thursday. December 15 and Friday January 6.

It says its main focus, through its integrated peak season plan, is the availability of key services and infrastructure at airports to ensure reliable and efficient operations.

“This includes elevators, escalators, cars and trolleys, all the equipment needed to facilitate the seamless movement of passengers.”

It has also introduced various technological solutions, such as e-gates, to streamline passenger processing and shorten queues.

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Acsa chief executive Mpumi Mpofu says it has also focused on “upgrading and expanding” parking infrastructure, including replacing equipment that had reached the end of its useful life. This includes new parking payment machines to address areas of congestion and provide a “more efficient and user-friendly parking procedure at our airports”.

The company hopes its ‘Acsa app’, with features such as flight information and details on parking pay points, will facilitate a smoother experience for passengers.

“We’ve worked hard to increase our human resources, but we’ve also reopened more areas, such as lounges and parks, and we’ve introduced technology solutions and general improvements to our airports to be able to provide excellent service this holiday season,” he says. Mpofu.

Aircraft fuel

Commenting on the issue of jet fuel shortages experienced during the year in Ortia and CPT, Mpofu says “jet fuel supply challenges are a thing of the past”.

“Stock levels at these airports dropped to alarmingly low levels at times during the year as the supply chain was affected by flooding in KwaZulu-Natal and a delayed high seas shipment en route to City of the Cape

“We are pleased to announce that fuel stock levels have stabilized and all our airports have sufficient stock to comfortably meet current peak season demand,” he says.

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“We do not foresee any further problems with the availability of jet fuel.”

Recovery of the industry

Mpofu says the company’s integrated seasonal plan will ensure airports have the right resources, positioning and capacity to handle high passenger volumes.

“It took months of planning, but we finalized our integrated peak season plan and implemented it at the end of October.

“Overall, we are pleased with what has been an initially difficult and slow response to the strong recovery in passenger movements and air traffic volumes this year.”

Acsa’s Terence Delomoney (Group Director, Operations) says global air travel is expected to fully recover by 2025.

This is according to the Airports Council International (ACI).

North and South America [are] It is expected to fully recover by 2023, while Europe, Africa and the Middle East will recover in 2024, and Asia will only recover in 2025.”

Acsa says ACI data shows strong demand for air travel despite rising macroeconomic risks, with forecasts predicting continued momentum through the second half of 2022.

“ACI attributes the positive performance to fewer health and travel restrictions in many European and African countries and the Americas, leaving room for renewed industry optimism.”

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It notes that global domestic passenger traffic is expected to reach pre-Covid levels by the end of 2023 with full-year 2023 traffic in line with 2019 levels.

“Global international passenger traffic will take another year to fully recover, reaching 2019 levels in the second half of 2024.”

Delomoney says that by the end of October the Acsa network had recovered to 70% of pre-Covid numbers, with domestic travel accounting for 72% and international travel the balance.

He adds that South Africa is seeing the return of business travel, which boosted traffic especially during September and October.

Mpofu says the company is looking forward to a successful season with passengers arriving and returning from their holiday destinations in a stress-free and well-managed environment.

Hear FlySafair Kirby Gordon explain the airline’s “pretty aggressive” expansion plan (or read the transcript here):

This article originally appeared on Moneyweb and has been republished with permission.
Read the original article here.

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