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Mon 13 May 2024
ACSA SIGNALS AN EXCITING CHAPTER OF CONTINENT-WIDE AIRLIFT AND THE ROLE OF AfCFTA AT THE TRAVEL INDABA

Durban – The 2024 Africa Travel Indaba deliberated on how airlift will be an exciting catalyst for Africa's economic development, tourism growth, and regional integration.

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) CEO Ms. Mpumi Mpofu, was in attendance and participated on the 2024 Africa Travel Indaba panel with CemAir Chief Commercial Officer Shaniel Singh, Tebogo Fihla from Kenya Airways, and others.

Africa's Travel Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three "must visit" events of its kind on the global calendar.  It showcases the widest variety of Africa's best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world. 

The panel discussions held on Monday, 13th May 2024, at the Durban ICC focused on, among other things, understanding and grappling with the emerging and historic challenges for airlift strategies in and around Africa. Despite the debilitating COVID-19 disruptions airlift advancements have taken place on the African continent.

The panel looked at all the exciting trends and available opportunities to increase travel numbers. Specifically, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which has become our reality, and is creating a greater propensity for air travel, both for passengers and cargo.

Africa Travel Indaba annually provides a platform for aviation industry players to seek solutions to pressing challenges. Apart from the panel discussions, Africa Travel Indaba held a Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) with a carefully curated selection of educational sessions where current trends were discussed with key industry in a meaningful way. 

Deputy Minister of Tourism Amos Fish Mahlalela closed with a delivery of the keynote address.​

//ENDS//

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Fri 10 May 2024
ACSA SETS RECORD STRAIGHT ON MEDICAL EMERGENCY AT OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) can confirm that a medical emergency took place at OR Tambo on Wednesday mid-afternoon involving an elderly traveller in the domestic departures area at O.R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Johannesburg.

OR Tambo International Airport Regional General Manager Jabu Khambule confirms that two calls were received at 12:09 and 12:10 respectively both reporting a medical emergency at gate E9 domestic departures.

The first call was from the Airlink boarding agent to the ACSA control room on the internal line, and the second was from Mr. Christopher Pappas.

"Paramedics were dispatched and arrived at the scene at 12:16 as per our CCTV footage. The passenger was treated by the paramedics on scene, and at the airport clinic before being referred to ARWYP Medical Centre in Kempton Park," says Khambule.

These facts contradict the version of events posted by Mr. Pappas on X (formerly Twitter), who stated: "Elderly lady experienced serious medical emergency. No staff knew what to do. Emergency phones unanswered. Security guards not helpful. Paramedics took far too long to arrive (sic)."

Mr. Pappas's primary grievance or complaint was a perceived lack of organised, prompt emergency responses and protocols from the staff on duty as well as a lack of training and/or equipping of staff on duty to handle medical emergencies of this nature.

"In response to this claim, we can confirm that the response time under the Service Level Agreement between ACSA and the paramedics is 10 minutes, and this emergency was responded to in seven (7) minutes from the time of the initial call made by the Airlink boarding agent and six (6) minutes from the recorded call of Mr. Pappas. In view of these facts, the airport management team at ORTIA is satisfied that the incident was responded to efficiently and effectively and in line with the protocols and procedures in place," says Khambule.

Furthermore, ACSA remains committed to upholding the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) standards and recommended practices (SARPs) for the safety, efficiency, and regularity of international civil aviation. These global standards and practices address and stress the necessity of effective emergency response planning. To this end, ACSA has contracted the services of a 24/7 medical emergency company charged with response planning and coordination.

Nevertheless, ACSA acknowledges the likely trauma borne by bystanders who witnessed the medical emergency unfold. We would like to apologise to our passengers and customers for any discomfort this may have caused.

 

//ENDS//

Business, Passengers
Mon 6 May 2024
ACSA Proud to Support Smile Week at Frere Hospital in East London This Month.

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is proud to announce that it is sponsoring the Smile Foundation's life-changing initiative Smile Week at Frere Hospital, in East London in the Eastern Cape, this week.

Smile Week is geared to help bridge the gap between young patients whose families cannot otherwise afford specialised operations and the medical specialists who can assist them.

During Smile Week, approximately 25 children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds will undergo life-changing corrective surgery. Most of these procedures involve cleft lip and cleft palate repair.

Of the children undergoing surgery is Zisuncumo (whose name means Bring a Smile), an eighteen-month-old boy from Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, who was born with a cleft lip and palate. Last year during Smile Week, Zisuncumo underwent the first phase of his corrective surgery, repairing the skin and muscles of his lip, so that he can have better use of them and be able to communicate. The second phase of his surgery which will take place this week involves repair work to his palate. Zisuncumo will be given the chance to live a normal, happy life.

It is important to highlight that children born with such conditions are not only stigmatised throughout their lives because of their physical differences, they also encounter difficulties with breathing and eating, and may also face problems with speech development and other challenges.

ACSA's long-standing partnership with the Smile Foundation began in May 2011 as part of the company's mandate to align its corporate social investment initiatives with sector-specific health issues.

"We are delighted to once again team up with the Smile Foundation to sponsor Smile Week during which surgeons, their surgical teams and other medical professionals come together to perform reconstructive surgery on children with facial abnormalities and burn scars as well as ear, nose and hand conditions," says Ms Nicola Smith, Local Airport Manager at King Phalo Airport in East London.

Some prevailing challenges in Buffalo City Municipality include its rural, under resourced, and general necessitous state of living for local residents, which has led to limited access to adequate medical facilities and quality healthcare services. Currently, Frere Hospital faces a shortage of plastic surgeons, causing a backlog of patients needing reconstructive procedures. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds receive assistance only during the annual Smile Week, a partnership initiated in 2022 between the Smile Foundation and Frere Hospital.

"As ACSA, we are truly honoured that our support for the Smile Foundation helps towards improving the physical appearance and the psychological well-being of children who ordinarily would be excluded from such interventions due to financial challenges," says Smith.

During Smile Week, Dr Chris van der Walt, who heads up the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital and his dedicated surgical team will travel to Frere Hospital to perform these critical surgeries.

"All children should be able to feel loved and understood growing up. Sadly, there are still many who due to facial anomalies or burn injuries and a lack of financial resources, will never fully experience the freedom and joy that acceptance brings. But things are changing for the better and through the selfless dedication of the surgeons and medical support teams, the generosity of our incredible sponsor ACSA, and everyone who has ever offered their time and talent throughout Smile Weeks, together we are able to help more underprivileged children, get the surgery they need to live brighter, more fulfilling lives," concludes Tarri Parfitt, CEO of Smile Foundation.

//ENDS//

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Sat 4 May 2024
ACSA commends swift action by law enforcement at OR Tambo

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has commended the actions of law enforcement agencies in the arrest of a German national at OR Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg, for alegedly attempting to traffic two women to Croatia recently.


The man, 56-year-old Joachim Will, appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court yesterday (Friday) on charges of trafficking in persons and fraud. He was remanded in custody until a formal bail application  

He was arrested by a joint police team led by the West Rand Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation, working with Interpol, Crime Intelligence and Gauteng's Provincial Border Policing. He was intercepted while trying to board a flight to Croatia with the two Madagascan women, aged 32 and 29.

The women were allegedly recruited through a dating site and lured with a promise of employment. They were found in possession of fraudulent Italian passports.

"ACSA commends the exemplary efforts of the various law enforcement agencies involved in the arrests. The successful apprehension was a direct result of enhanced collaboration between these agencies and ACSA's security team," says Mzwandile Petros, Group Executive of Enterprise Security at ACSA.

ACSA issues a stern warning to all potential traffickers: South Africa will not tolerate illicit business practices. Any attempts to violate our laws will be met with swift and decisive legal action.

“ACSA takes a zero-tolerance approach to any criminal activity at its airports. Human traffickers will be arrested and will face the full might of the law,” says Petros, adding that OR Tambo International Airport is a national key point, meaning that security will always be on high alert. 

ENDS//​
Business, Passengers
Sun 28 April 2024
O.R. Tambo International Airport celebrates SAA’s inaugural flight to Perth

KEMPTON PARK, 29 April 2024 – O. R. Tambo International Airport yesterday celebrated the South African Airways' (SAA) inaugural flight between Johannesburg and Perth, Australia.

South African Airways (SAA) will operate three direct flights per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays at 20:55, with arrival at Perth International Airport at 12:20 the following day.

The inward-bound flights to South Africa will depart from Perth on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 14h40 and arrive the following day at O. R. Tambo International Airport at 19h35. The non-stop nine-and-a-half-hour flight will operate an SAA Airbus A340-300 aircraft, configured to carry 38 passengers in business class and 215 in economy.

The Johannesburg-Perth route is a strategic route for the Southern Hemisphere, providing passengers with the convenience of direct intercontinental air connectivity. Australia has seen an increase in the number of South Africans that travel to the country for both leisure and business travel.

SAA CEO Professor John Lamola highlighted the importance of the route relaunch as a symbolic moment for the airline, marking its recovery and strategic repositioning post-COVID-19.

"What differentiates this particular route is the richness in the traffic anticipated between Australia and South Africa, particularly because of visits between family."

Regarding the social impact of South African Airways, Lamola notes; "This is a great moment to see ourselves deliver on our mandate of ensuring that we contribute to economic development and the other social impacts that an airline like ours has in connecting people interculturally across the continents."

It is expected that the non-stop service will bring more than 39 000 additional inbound passengers from South Africa to Western Australia every year. Before the pandemic, Australia attracted about 58 000 visitors from South Africa in 2019, 34% of whom visited Western Australia.

South African Airways initially started flying the Perth route on 1st April 2003 and terminated the service on 20th March 2020. During this period, the route contributed an estimated R21.8 million a year to ACSA's Aeronautical Revenue.

ACSA CEO Mpumi Mpofu notes that the resumption of the Perth route comes amidst ACSA's solid post-pandemic recovery, which is reflected in the festive season statistics from its major airports.

"Our recovery efforts are further underscored by the expected revenue from this route. The landing revenue from the Perth route is expected to reach R 5 470 150, while the passenger revenue is expected to amount to R6 869 854, resulting in a combined total of R12 340 004," says Mpofu.

"ACSA would like to congratulate SAA for the important strides that it is making in our country's aviation sector, as the resumption of the route to Perth is key to fostering growth and enhancing connectivity, as well as fulfilling our shared commitment to elevating South Africa's aviation sector on the global stage."

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi highlighted the crucial role of cargo and tourism for Gauteng's economy, as well as the importance of building routes between South Africa and other BRICS countries.

"Building on these sectors, our partnership within BRICS offers an immense opportunity to showcase our goods and enable our citizens to access new markets. It's about making meaningful connections that empower our communities and drive our economic engine forward," he says.

Mr. Green, an Australian passenger who originally travelled from Australia to Johannesburg via Singapore, is among the first to benefit from this direct flight. He expressed his excitement for the shortened travel time. Mr. Green remarked; that previously, getting to Perth involved a gruelling 23-hour journey with lengthy stopovers. "Now, I can travel in just 9 hours."

This is the second significant route introduced by SAA in the last six months, after the airline launched a service to São Paulo, Brazil, in October last year.

ENDS

 

Business, Passengers
Sun 21 April 2024
FlySafair plane lands safely with damaged tyre at OR Tambo International Airport

​Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) can confirm that FlySafair flight FA212 landed safely at OR Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg, a short while ago after being forced to turn back due to a technical problem.


The plane, bound for Cape Town, reportedly suffered damage to one of its rear tyres during take-off. This was spotted by ground staff at OR Tambo and the flight crew was alerted. The decision was made to return to Johannesburg.

Despite the damaged tyre, the plane managed to make a smooth landing, with no injuries reported on board. 

“We would like to praise the FlySafair pilots and crew for their professional handling of this emergency. Their training and experience ensured that all passengers on board the plane walked away unscathed.” Says Regional General Manager: Jabulani Khambule

Any further queries regarding the incident should be referred to the airline.

ACSA would like to advise travellers that one of the runways at OR Tambo International Airport will remain closed for the next few hours. This means that the single runway operation will result in flight delays.

Passengers are asked to contact their airlines for the latest information regarding their flights.

ACSA would like to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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Thu 18 April 2024
KSIA, CTIA, and ORTIA wins agan at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2024

​Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is proud to announce that King Shaka International Airport (KSIA), Cape Town International Airport (CTIA), and OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) all clinched awards at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2024, which are coveted accolades for airports across the world, and a global benchmark of airport excellence.

KSIA was recognised as the Best Regional Airport in Africa, while CTIA scooped the Skytrax Best Airport in Africa award for the ninth consecutive year and the Skytrax Best Airport Staff in Africa award for the fourth consecutive year. Adding to this success, OR Tambo International Airport proudly secured the third position for Best Airport in Africa and also received accolades for Best Airport Hotel, showcasing our commitment to providing top-notch services and facilities.  In addition to these awards, ACSA's airports in Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, and East London have also been recognised among the top ten regional airports in Africa

"We are successfully navigating a period of substantial growth,  surging passenger numbers and the introduction of new airlines. We are grateful for the partnerships and support from all our stakeholders, without whom these accolades would not be possible" says ACSA CEO, Mpumi Mpofu.

"These remarkable achievements highlight our resilience, dedication,  and our team's commitment to excellence".

"These achievements mark a moment of immense pride for all of us. To each and every staff member, who tirelessly contributes to ensuring an outstanding airport experience for every passenger and user,  heartfelt congratulations are in order."

This year's Skytrax World Airport Awards ceremony was held at the Passenger Terminal EXPO in Frankfurt recently. Skytrax is an esteemed international air transport rating organisation established in 1989 and headquartered in London, UK.

Skytrax introduced the World Airline and Airport Star Rating programme in 1999. This programme, a leading international rating system, evaluates airlines and airports based on product quality and staff service standards.

The 5-Star Airport Rating, a prestigious mark of quality achievement and a global benchmark of airport excellence, is awarded following thorough audit analysis and assessment of each airport's product and frontline service standards.​

This year's Awards event was attended by the Presidents, CEOs and top management from airports across the globe, recognising the importance of the Skytrax Awards.

Business
Mon 15 April 2024
Airports Company South Africa Celebrates a Record 10 million Passengers at CTIA in Last Financial Year

Cape Town, South Africa, 9 April 2024 - Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is pleased to announce that Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) has achieved a ground-breaking milestone by processing more than 10 million passengers in a single financial year.

CTIA achieved this record during the 2023/2024 financial year by processing the highest number of international and regional passengers since Covid-19 It hit the 10 million mark by processing more than 320 000 passengers in March this year – a monthly figure that exceeded projections.

Mark Maclean, Regional General Manager for ACSA's Cluster 2, expressed enthusiasm over the airport's remarkable performance, stating, "We have recorded a steady increase in passenger volumes this year, and the international and regional passenger volumes have consistently exceeded historic passenger volumes, including March 2024. "

The resurgence in passenger volumes follows a period of robust activity during the peak season, indicating a promising trajectory for CTIA's continued growth. With airlines augmenting flight frequencies and renewed confidence in the City and region's appeal, CTIA is preparing to commence with various expansion projects. To accommodate this upward trend, CTIA is committed to enhancing its infrastructure and facilities. Plans include the construction of a new runway, terminal upgrade projects and various refurbishment projects, aiming to improve airport operations and the passenger experience, and to enable continued growth.

Maclean emphasised, "As we continue on the rebuild phase, our priority is to methodically enhance various aspects of airport operations and infrastructure. While this complex process will take time, we urge our valued airport users to please exercise patience as we invest to further elevate CTIA for the better. I thank passengers and airport visitors for your continued support."

Acknowledging the collective effort behind this milestone, ACSA extends its gratitude to its dedicated staff and all stakeholders. Their unwavering commitment has been instrumental in fostering CTIA's position as a premier gateway to the vibrant city of Cape Town.

We are also a proud partner of Cape Town Air Access which continues to deliver excellent results to grow international traffic. ​

Business, Passengers
Thu 11 April 2024
ACSA responds to media reports of jet fuel shortages at its airports

​Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has noted several recent media reports indicating an impending fuel shortage at some of its airports.​

ACSA was requested to assist on behalf of South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA) with respect to ongoing engagements between SAPIA, the South African Revenue Service (SARS), and individual petroleum companies to resolve a tax dispute relating to the use of the multi-product pipeline from Durban to Johannesburg, and related storage facilities. Concerned about the negative impact of the fuel shortage on its airport operations, ACSA has been part of deliberations with these parties.

The problem can be best summarised as follows: The inland refinery, which is also the main source of jet fuel into OR Tambo International Airport is preparing for its planned temporary shutdown sometime between May and June this year, leading to a greater reliance on imported fuel from Durban. These eventualities have been anticipated and jet fuel supply will continue, making use of the said alternative routes.

This planned shutdown unfortunately coincides with the challenges posed by the SARS impasse with the parties. This is the reason for the potential crisis in jet fuel supply and as indicated ACSA, SARS, SAPIA have been discussing and are finalising the implementation of the contingency plans to avert this situation.

While the overall fuel stock levels at OR Tambo International Airport recently dipped below the recommended five days’ cover due to the refinery preparing for the shutdown. The five-day stock holding of fuel provides a buffer to deal with any unforeseen short-term interruptions that may occur in the jet fuel supply chain.

At this stage, ACSA is communicating with all parties as they are attempting to resolve these matters and requests patience from stakeholders until we receive firm feedback from SARS, SAPIA and the petroleum companies on the resolution of this matter.

ACSA would like to emphasise once again that the responsibility to keep adequate stocks of jet fuel to meet the demands of airlines lies with the fuel suppliers and SAPIA using ACSA’s infrastructure. Airlines forecast their demand accurately and make arrangements to supply this demand and enter into contracts with fuel suppliers. SAPIA and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy have a responsibility to ensure continuity and security of supply. As a result some suppliers have indicated to their airline customers that due to above matter, there will be a reduction in their supply and airlines are taking operational decisions to plan for this impact on their services.

ACSA is in constant engagement with SARS, SAPIA , Fuel suppliers and the airlines directly to obtain up-to-date information on the actions they are taking to deal and mitigate this potential crisis.

Ends//
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