Acsa sees slow recovery from aviation sector, monitoring second wave

When travel restrictions were first eased, Cape Town International Airport was welcoming just four flights per day. Now, around 120 flights are arriving and departing daily.

A general view of the Cape Town International Airport. Picture: @capetowninternational/Facebook

CAPE TOWN - The Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) said that the aviation industry was slowly clawing its way back from the adverse effect of the global pandemic.

When travel restrictions were first eased, Cape Town International Airport was welcoming just four flights per day. Now, around 120 flights are arriving and departing daily.

This is still nowhere close to what air travel looked like pre-COVID-19, but the sector is doing all it can to ensure that business returns to that level.

About 260 domestic and international flights arrived and departed from Cape Town International Airport every day before the pandemic hit.

Although the figure is now less than half that, Acsa's Deidre Davids said that they were grateful for the upswing in international travel.

"We have seen our international flights pick up with our borders open internationally."

Now, in the midst of a second wave of infections and with the discovery of new COVID-19 variants, there are fears of another harsh blow to the industry.

Davids said that at this stage, no carriers had suspended international flights but they were monitoring the situation.

"We have at least seven international carriers that might assess their schedule given potential international travel bans and it's certainly a situation that we will monitor closely."

It emerged overnight that Germany, one of South Africa's key tourist markets, was weighing whether to halt travel to South Africa over the increasing infection numbers and the recently discovered new COVID-19 variant.

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