Cape Town - Travelling through Cape Town International Airport this month? Be prepared for big crowds as the airport expects its busiest December ever.
More than a million passengers is expected to pass through its gates this month, with Friday 15 December being the peak day when most South Africans start the holiday.
4 to 6 January is expected to be the peak time for the start of 2018, when everyone heads home after the festive season.
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This big boost in number will make the airport pass the 10 million passenger mark for the second year.
Deidre Davids, Senior Manager of Corporate
Affairs, is excited about the tourism impact it has for the province.
“It is wonderful that the Western Cape is such a sought-after
destination and the whole region benefits greatly. It is also inevitable that
this kind of passenger traffic generates pressure points in and around the
airport. However, our staff are fully geared up to identify and cope with
challenges across the airport precinct."
"If there are problems we ask passengers
to let us know and to bear with us while we deal with any issues,” she says.
Cape Town International has experienced a 20% growth in international visitors over the last two years, including a boost in domestic numbers. In January and April numbers were up by 30% compared to the same periods the previous year.
Davids also appeals to passengers to arrive at the airport early for their flights, giving everyone enough time to deal with problems if they arise and also reduce travel stress.
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Security will also be a major focus this month, and Davids urges everyone to be on the lookout for anything suspicious and to report it immediately.
In September two South Africans were taken into custody for bomb threats at OR Tambo International Airport, and David gives a stern warning to passengers making jokes about terrorism.
"We hope that passengers appreciate that there is never
going to be a humorous way to talk about security. It does not matter. We take
a hard line and any unwise remark can lead to you being arrested and your
Important numbers at Cape Town International Airport:
- Customer Care: 021 937 1200
- Flight Information: 086 727 7888
- South Africa Police Services: 021 927 2900
- Security Control Room: 021 937 1288
- Landside Hotline: 021 935 3737
- Terminal Hotline: 021 936 2562
International Airline highlights for the year
Cape Town International Airport has seen an increase in flights with various airlines this year, helping with the boost in numbers. Air France increased its new year-round service between Cape Town and Paris from three to five weekly flights, while Edelweiss increased the Zurich-Cape Town route to three flights a week. Lufthansa increased its direct Frankfurt-Cape Town route to five times a week.
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Airlink now has daily flights between the Mother City and Maun in Botswana, and as well as Ethiopian Airlines on its Addis Ababa-Cape Town route.
Next year, Air Mauritius will be increasing its capacity between the island and Cape Town with a wider Airbus 340-300, giving more couples a chance to go on that island honeymoon.
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