The 2010 FIFA World Cup remains a huge marketing opportunity for South Africa. Since the beginning of the tournament, our industry facilitated over 32 500 aircraft movements through-out the ACSA network of airports. The congestion of air traffic that happened at King Shaka International on Wednesday (7 June 2010) unfortunately resulted in six aircraft being unable to land at the airport despite all efforts to accommodate them.
The Soccer World Cup fans on board were unable to watch the match, which led to the dampening of the jubilant mood in the country and stained the impeccable efforts that went into preparing and facilitating air traffic during this prestigious tournament. I apologise to all South Africans and, most importantly, all fans who missed the opportunity to attend the semi-final in Durban, and for the inconvenience caused.
ACSA realises that no amount of money could ever adequately compensate the fans for missing the opportunity to watch the second 2010 FIFA World Cup semi-final match on African soil. The question of whether ACSA is legally liable for any loss resulting from this unfortunate event is still to be determined. Nevertheless, ACSA has, as a gesture of goodwill, but without admitting any liability, decided to set aside an amount of R400,000.00 for semi-final match ticket carrying passengers who were on board the six aircraft that were turned back.
The logistics of how the money is to be disbursed will be discussed with the affected airlines, as they have passenger details, and will be announced as soon as possible. ACSA hopes that with this gesture, we will all put this incident behind us and focus on ensuring that passengers attending the two remaining matches are facilitated with dedication and pride demonstrated by the people of ACSA and its stakeholders.