Africa: Cape Town harvest 700 000 new seats as Kenya Airways TAAG and Air Mauritius increases flights
Over the last few weeks, the air connectivity between the Cape and the rest of Africa has been increased significantly.
This not only demonstrates the continued confidence in our city and province as a business and tourism destination, but also positions our region well for future trade and investment from our African counterparts.
The Cape Town Air Access initiative welcomes the announcement by Kenya Airways on Friday that they will launch a direct route between Nairobi and Cape Town from 6 June 2018. This route will operate three times a week.
Kenya Airways currently flies three times a week from Nairobi to Cape Town via Victoria Falls. It also operates a flight to Cape Town via Livingstone, and this route will be increased from three flights to four flights per week from 25 March 2018.
In the same week, TAAG has announced that it will increase capacity from Luanda to Cape Town from three flights per week to four flights per week on a Boeing 777-300 from 25 March 2018.
Air Mauritius has also announced a capacity increase on its route to Cape Town, introducing a wide body A340-300 from 28 March 2018.
The Cape Town Air Access initiative is a partnership between Wesgro, the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town, Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town Tourism, South African Tourism, and the private sector. Its key objective is to land more direct routes to Cape Town International Airport.
This initiative has now landed 11 new routes, and 14 route expansions since its inception in 2015. This has resulted in over 700,000 new seats into Cape Town International Airport. With tourism supporting over 300,000 jobs in the Western Cape, this initiative has boosted both economic growth and jobs.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “The new Nairobi-Cape Town route, and the additional expanded routes with Kenya, Angola and Mauritius, demonstrates that there is continued confidence in Cape Town and the Western Cape, and that visitors – be it for business or leisure – continue to see our region as strong business partner, and a gateway to the rest of the continent.”
“Wesgro encourages visitors to come to Cape Town and the Western Cape. We need tourism now more than ever, as we face a serious drought. While international tourists only add 1% to the entire population of the Western Cape on average during peak season, they support hundreds of thousands of jobs, and add nearly R40 billion to the provincial economy. Our message to visitors is therefore: come and enjoy, but be mindful of the drought and help us save water, by saving like a local. We are confident that if everyone works together in this way, we can avoid day zero, and emerge as a stronger, more resilient regional economy.”
The Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille said: “This news is a major boost for Cape Town and demonstrates that our efforts to position Cape Town as a globally competitive business destination are paying off. The increase in the number of flights will mean that more tourists and business people can travel to and from Cape Town with much more ease. This is indeed good news in terms of our mission to increase trade and investment between Cape Town businesses and businesses in cities across Africa. We thank the airlines for their confidence in Cape Town and look forward to the positive spin offs of this on our business and leisure tourism economy.”
Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde said that the new routes would open up new trade and investment opportunities.
“In 2015, I led a trade delegation to Angola and since then, we have had numerous delegations visit from there. There are huge opportunities for partnerships between areas like Saldanha Bay and Angola, and opening up new routes between our two countries makes the possibilities for partnerships greater. The expansion of the routes to Kenya and the addition of the Air Mauritius capacity means even more scope for travellers to experience Cape Town and the Western Cape as a destination for both investment and leisure.”