As the festive season officially kicked off at the start of December, with a long weekend coming up week activating the relaxation mode for many South Africans, the company responsible for the upkeep and management of South Africa’s airports, ACSA, announced that it’s ready for travellers that will be making their way though the country’s airports this summer.
The company hosted a festive season readiness media engagement with its CEO Mpumi Mpofu, OR Tambo International Airport regional general manager, Jabulani Khambule, and group executive operations development, Terence Delomoney.
Mpofu said the company was ready to handle the festive season effectively and that their carefully planned festive season strategy would position them well to deal with the increased passenger volumes and aircraft movements that characterise this period.
“Every traveller can look forward to a safe and comfortable journey through our airports,” she said.
According to ACSA, OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, and King Shaka International Airport are expected to have their busiest days on December 15 and January 6 during the festive season.
The airports management company said that despite the pandemic, passenger volume had made a strong recovery, and this year's festive season passenger numbers were expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels.
“While we have seen a robust, if somewhat unsteady passenger volume recovery, since the pandemic, with the International Air Transport Association predicting that global passenger volumes will only fully recover to pre-COVID-19 levels by 2024, ACSA again expects to see festive season passenger numbers outstrip pre-pandemic levels,” said Mpofu.
The group executive operations management, Delomoney, said that as part of their preparations for the festive season, ACSA focused much of its attention on increasing the human resources within its airport network.
It also deployed new infrastructure and introduced technology solutions to provide excellent service to travellers during this holiday season.
He also noted that that each airport had made unique improvements to its infrastructure and had tweaked its services where necessary to ensure that travellers would have a smooth and seamless customer journey.
ACSA also noted that as part of these improvements, Cape Town International Airport had opened a new international business lounge for departing passengers and also expanded its hospitality and retail offerings in the domestic terminal just in time for the festive season.
It also revealed that OR Tambo International Airport had completed its parking upgrades, with new infrastructure in some of its parkades making it easier and quicker for passengers to park their vehicles.
King Shaka International Airport is working with the Border Management Authority (BMA) to find ways to quickly and efficiently process the thousands of passengers who will fly in to board a cruise ship in Durban over the coming weeks.