GRAHAMSTOWN – The 8.6 percent year-on-year surge in domestic air passenger arrivals in September signifies the much-anticipated revival in the South African economy, although the increase in a few air passengers does not necessarily mean that summer is here, but it may mean that spring is here.
This is according to data provided by the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa), which showed a moderate 3.2 percent year-on-year gain in domestic air passenger arrival numbers in August.
Air passenger numbers have been volatile this year as elections jitters in May related to political killings and xenophobic attacks saw a 1.3 percent year-on-year drop in total air passenger arrivals, before a June surge as many people undertook journeys that had been pushed back from May.
This was then followed by a return to moderate growth in July and August. The June surge was 8 percent year on year, before an easing to a 0.9 percent year on year gain in July and a 2.4 percent year-on-year rise in August and 6.5 percent year-on-year jump in September.
In September the relative shares of the four main categories of arrivals were 67 percent for domestic arrivals, 29.8 percent for international arrivals, 3 percent for regional arrivals and only 0.2 percent for unscheduled arrivals.