Johannesburg traffic down 2.4% in 2009 Q3; international traffic up in July and August

Image: Ahead of South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Ahead of South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Emirates launched non-stop flights from Dubai to Durban on South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast earlier this month. In time for the same event, Durban will also have constructed a brand new airport (which advertises for new routes in The Route Shop).

Airport traffic in South Africa is dominated by O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, which handles over half of all the country’s air passengers and the vast majority of the country’s international air traffic. Johannesburg airport first started seeing a fall in air traffic last April, since when traffic has been down every month when compared with the same month in the previous year.

Chart: Domestic passengers at JNB - Monthly passengers (thousands) - 2000 to 2009
Source: ACSA

Domestic traffic in South Africa has fallen this year to a level somewhere between that achieved in 2005 and 2006, though in September for the first time domestic traffic fell below the 2005 level.

International growth in July and August

Between August 2008 and June 2009, international traffic was down each month compared with the previous year. However, in July and August, international traffic was up versus 2008 by 1.7% in both months. New international services at Johannesburg this summer include Afriqiyah to Tripoli (4 September), Arik Air to Lagos (1 June), Delta to Atlanta (1 June), SAA to Buenos Aires (8 April) and Zambezi Airlines to Livingston, Lusaka and Ndola.

Chart: International passengers at JNB - Monthly passengers (thousands) - 2000 to 2009
Source: ACSA

At Cape Town, total airport traffic was down less than 2% in September. Domestic traffic was up 2.3% but this was in contrast to the 22% reduction in international traffic during the same month. In the first six months of the airport’s financial year, total traffic is down 3.4% to 3.63 million passengers.


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