Cape Town, 1 October 2020 – Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) is ready to welcome international flights for the first time since the country went into a national lockdown to curb the spread of the Corona virus in South Africa.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on global tourism this year. The economy of the Western Cape, which is heavily reliant on the tourism sector, recognizes the reopening of this sector to international tourism as critical in the rebuilding of the regional economy post Covid-19.
Deon Cloete, General Manager at Cape Town International Airport noted, “Since we first resumed with domestic flights, the airport team has worked tirelessly to ensure that we regain consumer trust by protecting the health and wellness of our staff and all visitors to the airport. We used the lockdown period effectively in collaboration with all airport partners to redesign our end-to-end processes, plan and introduce new technologies, such as COVID monitors and trained all staff across the value chain on new processes and protocols. We are ready – all the necessary safety measures have been put in place. We can ensure that travelers are able to safely navigate the airport to reach their holiday destinations and have a quality airport experience.”
City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member, Alderman James Vos said, “I am delighted to welcome back our international visitors today at our award-winning Cape Town International Airport, which has also been nominated for the World Travel awards this year. The visitor economy is everyone’s business as it brings in much needed revenue to our city and supports thousands of jobs. As domestic travel increases and international travel resumes, my team and I are hard at work implementing our Tourism Bounce Back strategy to ensure this sector and the related industries such as accommodation, hospitality, food and beverage as well as transport, come back stronger and more sustainable than before.”
“Cape Town and the Western Cape is open and travel safe! The opening of our international borders is an important step to help us rebuild our economy in the Western Cape. With our tourism marketing campaigns we will be working hard to ensure that Cape Town and the Western Cape is front-of-mind for those choosing their next holiday or business event destination,” said David Maynier, Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities.
Transport and Public Works Minister, Bonginkosi Madikizela added, “The reopening of the Cape Town International Airport to commercial international passenger travel is a vital milestone along the road to the economic recovery of the Western Cape. I am delighted that the lengthy restrictions are being reduced and that we can expect increasing numbers of flights and passengers in the days and weeks ahead. These increasing numbers are crucial to the opening up of more jobs and the expansion of the overall economy, including tourism. Cape Town and the Western Cape remain high on the list of destinations for travelers, particularly as we move into summer and the hundreds of outdoor attractions are at their best. The restoration of international travel is a significant economic issue without which the economic recovery and prosperity of the city and province will continue to be held back.”
“Today is indeed an important milestone. We have processed close to 20 000 passengers on repatriation flights to date but welcoming back our scheduled commercial airlines is a moment we have been waiting for. We are eager to safely facilitate passengers through our airports and are keen to welcome back the international airlines and the visitors they bring,” said Cloete.
Foreign airlines commit
Airlines such as Emirates, Qatar and Ethiopian airlines have all signaled a commitment to continue to fly to our destination. The inaugural flight of the day is Emirates EK 772 at 13h00 followed by Ethiopian Airlines ET 847 at 13h30.
“We are thrilled that international travel to Cape Town and South Africa in general has resumed. As a visitor walks through the streets of Cape Town, explores our national parks, enjoys our beaches, enjoys what our winelands create, they will undoubtedly enjoy the natural beauty of Cape Town. But what turns that enjoyment into a love for our city is what we as locals offer. Our warmth, passion, welcoming nature and our friendliness are the magic ingredients that keep visitors coming back to Cape Town year after year. We are confident that these visitors will be able to enjoy our city in a safe and healthy manner once again,” Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism.
“We look forward to welcoming back visitors from around the globe to experience our abundance of wide-open spaces. Since the commencement of domestic travel in August, Cape Town International Airport, and the broader tourism and hospitality sector, have shown we are ready to welcome back visitors safely to Cape Town and the Western Cape,” commented Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.
“Cape Town International Airport remains the gateway to tourism in the Western Cape and we are committed to ensuring that we play our part in safely and efficiently facilitating visitors through our airport as we begin our journey to recovery,” concluded Cloete.
Domestic travel opened up again under Lockdown Level 2 at midnight on 17 August, and since then the airport has seen a steady increase in passengers come through its doors. This bodes well for the future of tourism in the region. The airport has slowly but steadily seen the number of flights per day increase. Currently there are an average of 52 arriving and departing flights a day.
Key operational information you need to know:
- The wearing of masks and sanitisation is mandatory for all visitors to the airport and passengers are encouraged to use gloves and maintain appropriate social distancing
- Passengers travelling on domestic flights must arrive at least two hours ahead of their flight given all the safety protocols which are required
- Passengers travelling on international flights must arrive at the airport at least three and a half hours before departure of their flight
- Meeters and Greeters will only be allowed into the airport at Level 0. Currently meters and greeters will not be permitted into the terminal building. This is to prevent congestion and allow the airport to stabilize screening protocols at the entrances
- All international passengers to arrive with a Covid clearance form.
- All travelers are being asked to install the Covid Alert South Africa mobile app
- Airline Lounges will not be open in Level 1 until the international processes are stabilised and volume increases are adequately monitored
- Parkade 1 will be closed and only 50% of Parkade 2 will be open
- The Transit Facility will remain closed
- All persons entering the airport will be screened (including airport personnel and passengers)
- All airport personnel will make use of prescribed personal protective equipment