OR Tambo International Airport

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) is depending on September to start the recovery ball rolling with the airport operator predicting that 210 000 passengers will pass through OR Tambo International Airport this month.

At a briefing at the airport late last week, Acsa GM, Bongiwe Pitya-Vokwana, told press that airlines had 2 500 arrival and departure slots booked for September, with an anticipated load factor of 85%.

She said this factor was critical for airline sustainability and this gradual recovery in demand would be positive for thousands of employees and hundreds of small businesses within the airport’s ecosystem. She expects more Acsa employees to return to work as passengers return to the skies.

“We are seeing encouraging signs that there is confidence in our ability to provide a safe environment for passengers across the journey, from check-in to baggage collection at destinations.”

Pitya-Vokwana said the figure of 210 000 passengers for September was only 12% of what the airport would have experienced before the pandemic. The entire month of May had seen only 575 passengers.

The airport has also facilitated a total of 1 555 aircraft movements for repatriation and evacuation flights that have carried more than 50 000 passengers since April.