ACSA AIRLINE INTERLINING WORKSHOP 4 & 5 FEBRUARY 2004
To : All Media
Date : 27 January 2004
O.R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) is Africa’s hub airport. As the largest and busiest airport in Africa, ORTIA offers a centre point at which airlines from across the globe can deliver passengers and cargo and connect on to other destinations where required.
ACSA is hosting the 2004 Airline Interlining Workshop (4 and 5 February 2004) for the third consecutive year, thanks to the great support and interest it has received from the airline industry. The workshop is a non-regulatory platform, facilitated by ACSA, to draw airlines together to discuss creative opportunities to improve their business.
Speaking at the media launch of the workshop Monhla Hlahla, Managing Director of ACSA, said the workshop was an opportunity to bring airline players, local authorities and tourism authorities together, to engage on matters to impact on their markets and new routes.
“The airlines engage on strategic issues, such as improving routes, opening new routes, code sharing and partnerships which in turn have a major impact on the larger economy,” Hlahla said.
ACSA Airline Interlining Workshop: How it works
ACSA celebrated its first decade of business in August last year. This year marks the 10th anniversary of South Africa’s transition to a democratic government allowing for the workshop to be themed of “A Decade of Achievement.”
The first day of the workshop will entail a series of reflections by key aviation role-players on their respective experiences with ORTIA over the past 10 years. These speakers include, amongst others, the Director General of Transport, Ms. Wrenelle Stander, the Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Clr. Duma Nkosi, ACSA’s Managing Director, Ms. Monhla Hlahla as well as the CEO of South African Airways, Mr. André Viljoen. A gala dinner, at Caesars Johannesburg, will round off the day’s proceedings.
Day two is when the very practical interlining activity takes place. A sophisticated meeting planner, operated by ACSA, will facilitate up to 500 15-minute meetings between the over 50 airlines represented.
The tightly-managed schedule allows airlines to connect with as many colleagues as possible. Past experience has proven this to be an invaluable opportunity for carriers to make initial connections that then act as the catalysts to new business ventures.
Bongani Maseko, the General Manager of ORTIA said the success of the interlining concept is, in many respects, founded on the cornerstone of a strong hub airport such as ORTIA, sending out spokes into the country, the continent and the world.
“The development and enhancement of hub airports is of benefit to travelers by not only offering them a greater number of destinations, but also greater frequencies, increasing convenience and often allowing airlines to pass some of the efficiency savings on to passengers in the form of lower fares,” he said.
Maseko said airlines also benefit from strong hub airports. Explaining that substantial capacity at a hub allows airlines to organise their schedules efficiently, permitting them to operate “waves” of landing and departing planes, minimising transit times for connecting passengers.
“So although it is the airlines that strategise their routes and frequencies, it is the role of the airports authority, such as ACSA, to facilitate that process through the provision of adequate infrastructure and the careful monitoring of the needs of the airlines. The Interlining Workshop is an example of this facilitation for the airlines,” he said.
Africa’s Hub: ORTIA
JIA’s development as a hub airport over the past ten years has been nothing short of remarkable. In 1993, 6.4 million passengers used ORTIA, compared to the almost 13 million passengers who made their way through the airport in 2003. The increase over the past ten years is just over 100%. ORTIA’s daily passenger numbers have grown to an average 36 000 passengers.
In the same vein, ORTIA recorded just over 75 000 air traffic movements in 1993, compared with more than 177 000 recorded in 2003. The exact increase in air traffic movements over that ten- year period is a staggering 135%.
Overall growth in passengers, particularly over the recent festive season, is another indicator of ORTIA’s increasing status as a key hub airport. ACSA recorded a 4.3% increase in numbers of domestic passengers from 2001 to 2002 and then a further 6% growth from 2002 to 2003.
Regional and international passenger growth showed similar positive trends, increasing by 8.9% from 2001 to 2002, then a further 7% from 2002 to 2003.
Over the festive season, ORTIA recorded growth in all spheres, both of a passenger and cargo nature.
When comparing December 2002 and the same month in 2003, ORTIA saw the total number of international passengers increase by 8.4% along with the total number of regional passengers, which increased by an impressive 10.4% Over the December period ORTIA facilitated a large number of Hajj pilgrims to Mecca, approximately 6000 in total, which will have impacted on these figures.
Total numbers of domestic passengers were up by 12% while ORTIA’s cargo section recorded an increase of 5%.
Another important indicator of ORTIA’s growth as a hub airport is the number of bags processed by our international departures terminal, particularly over the festive season.
From December 2002 to December 2003, ORTIA recorded a 9.6% growth in the number of bags processed. Transferring baggage, a key indicator of a hub airport, made up 23% of all baggage handled during December 2003. The year-on-year growth in transfer baggage, for this festive season, exceeded 10%, thus showing a higher growth rate than the total number of bags handled. ORTIA is currently handling an estimated 23 000 bags per day and an average 270 000 per month.
As passenger, cargo and baggage statistics reveal the increasing role ORTIA is laying as a hub airport, so too has ORTIA’s infrastructure grown to accommodate this increasing capacity.
The latest development, supporting and facilitating ORTIA’s hub development, is a new transfer facility that will become operational in April this year.
The R44 million development will provide a transfer facility between the international and domestic terminals and will offer additional support to ORTIA’s hub profile. The new transfer route will offer transferring passengers a seamless connection through the airport and is supported by a state-of-the-art automated baggage through-check system. The system will allow transferring passengers to book their baggage in with their airline of choice at their departure point and then only require them to collect their baggage at their final destination – irrespective of their connections through ORTIA.
Maseko said that approximately 28% of all daily passenger traffic through the airport is connecting through ORTIA.
“For this reason it is vital that ACSA ensures it is able to cater for all these people who are moving in many directions through this hub.”
As the biggest airport in Africa and the gateway to southern Africa, ACSA is proud once again to facilitate this Airline Interlining Workshop. Not only are we drawing together our own national carrier, with other major international and local airlines, we are also drawing together important regional airlines. One of the primary objectives of the New Partnership for Economic Development (Nepad) is to halt the marginalisation of Africa in the globalisation process, to enhance its full potential and beneficial integration into the global economy. The growth in interest from regional airlines in this workshop in heartening and certainly supports Nepad’s and ACSA’s vision for the future.