Mbalula: Travellers departing on domestic flights dropped by 62% in 2020

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula quoted these figures while addressing a South African Civil Aviation Authority virtual conference earlier this morning.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The number of air travellers departing on domestic flights dropped by nearly 62% last year compared to 2019.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula quoted these figures while addressing a South African Civil Aviation Authority virtual conference on Thursday morning.

Key players in the sector were discussing ways to kickstart the aviation industry heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, travel bans were imposed and borders closed.

Mbalula said that although these measures were necessary to protect people's lives, the aviation sector was dealt a blow.

"Overnight, we saw a slump in passenger numbers as the normal flow of air traffic was brought to a complete standstill."

Mbalula added that the number of passengers departing on international flights dropped by over 74% last year.

"Destinations within the country and to other countries were 41% of the previous year."

The minister said that due to the pandemic, international passenger travel dropped by 60% in 2020 and that 1.8 billion passengers used air travel compared to 4.5 billion in 2019.

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