South Africa’s three main airports have each been awarded four-star ratings for flight punctuality, Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has announced. The rankings were awarded by global flight information provider OAG.
The maximum number of stars that can be awarded in the OAG On-Time Performance (OTP) Ratings is five, and only the top 10% of airports and airlines are given five stars. ACSA aims to join that 10%.
The four-star South African airports are all owned and operated by ACSA. The best performer amongst them was Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, with 84.8% on-time performance. This was followed by Cape Town International Airport (84.4%) and Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport (82.9%).
“Operating large airports is a complex business that involves coordination and integration among thousands of people who provide the services required for aircraft to be able to land and take-off at the scheduled times,” pointed out ACSA chief operating officer (Ms) Fundi Sithebe. “When running an airport, one relatively small problem in one area has the potential to create a knock-on effect across the system. This is why it is key for management of airports to focus closely not only on the major elements of delivering on-time performance, but also on things that are perceived to be trivial.”
The OTP ratings are determined over a rolling 12-month timeframe. To qualify for a rating, all airports and airlines must fulfil two criteria. Each must have at least 600 operations a month and they must supply OAG with flight status information for at least 80% of scheduled flights during the 12 months.
ACSA is Africa’s largest airport operator, responsible for nine South African airports. In addition to the three already mentioned, these are Bram Fischer International Airport(Bloemfontein), East London Airport, George Airport, Kimberley Airport, Port Elizabeth Airport and Upington Airport.
Kate Owen, SSA strategy and campaign lead, says, “This year’s festive season campaign is driven by our insights into the South African rider culture. Many of our customers don’t rely on public transport alone and often come from households with one or two cars. While the need for Uber over this time of year is clear, we, as South Africans, sometimes find it hard to break old habits.”
Owen adds, “Since the campaign went live on Monday, 13 November, we have had a really positive response. Everyone can identify with these characters and situations.”
The TV and online videos aim to show the relationship people have with their cars, which has seen high engagement in people sharing stories of their own. The billboards and display ads show images that aim to show what freedom looks like from the back seat.
The radio campaign asks listeners to send in their ideas of all the creative things they could get done #InAnUber, that they wouldn’t want to get done in a car. Suggestions have covered everything from getting last Christmas present wrapping done, to playing 30 Seconds. The interactive campaign is supported by adverts that aim to paint a picture of how nightmarish certain situations are with a car.
“Uber is about more than simply getting a ride home, it’s about solving a problem. In the case of the festive season, it’s about giving our riders the freedom they wouldn’t usually have with their cars. By highlighting these challenges, and posing a solution, we are helping South Africans have a smoother, freer festive season,” concludes Owen.
You can view all three campaign ads here.
Image source: thesouthafrica
There is a new addition to Africa’s busiest air transport hub, O.R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg: the continent’s first airport-based brewery. Airport Craft Brewers is a reflection of South Africa’s burgeoning independent beer sector, with growing numbers of beer drinkers not satisfied with industrial, mass-produced beverages.
The hectic international arrivals terminal at the O.R. Tambo airport. Not far from here, businessmen in smart suits lean on a marble bar counter, sipping black and copper-colored beers.
A tall man in his 40s, in a white lab coat, zips between big, shiny, silver tanks, monitoring the temperature of his latest brew.
Phumelelo Marali learned to make beer from one of South Africa’s master brewers, Lex Mitchell.
“He always said to me that, ‘Phumi, it will take you two years to be exact, to learn how to brew beer,’ which is now in a [proper] brew house. It took me six months. But it took me about four years to understand the technicality behind it,” said Marali.
Marali prefers brewing, and drinking, sweeter beers, like his dark malt porter.
“Roasted kind of toffee notes, that is what you get from a porter; chocolaty, and some people in their nose, they pick up coffee,” he said.
He also makes blonde lager, German-style wheat beer, and Irish red ale.
The brewery owners decided to make all the beer at the airport so customers could see the process firsthand and to ensure a “fresher” taste. The brewery turns out about 20,000 liters a week.
Marali says it is great to be one of South Africa’s few black beer brewers, and to be at the forefront of the country’s craft beer revolution.
A decade ago, there were six craft beer makers in South Africa. Now, there are about 200, with the artisanal sector having captured almost one-percent of the nation’s massive beer market.
The sector remains dominated by South African Breweries, one of the world’s biggest brewers and part of the multinational beer behemoth, Anheuser-Busch InBev. But economic analysts say craft brewers like Marali are successfully carving out a niche in the local South African market.
The airport supplies a constant flow of customers.
Most of his clients though, are South Africans, like James Nkuma, holding a golden beverage in the bar area.
“It is a blonde [lager]. I love, I love it; I enjoy each and every second of it. It is an easy to drink beer. It is light, not hard like I need to drink and drink and get drunk; no,” he said.
Marali’s also training the next generation of young brewers, like Sibusiso Khumalo.
“Calculations, what you have to put in, the right recipe; the temperatures. The whole process takes one month,” said Khumalo.
But as Marali says “good things come to those who wait.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released new data showing that the air transport sector in South Africa provides immense value to the people and economy of the country supporting some 490,000 jobs including tourism-related employment and contributing $12 billion or 3.5% to the country’s GDP.
These findings are among the highlights of ‘The Importance of Air Transport to South Africa’ study conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of IATA.
“The study confirms the vital role of air transport in facilitating over $110 billion in exports, some $140 billion in foreign direct investment and around $9.2 billion in inbound leisure and business tourism for South Africa. With the country now in a recession it’s time to re-double efforts to promote South Africa as a destination for business, trade and tourism,” said Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East & Africa, who is making his first visit to Africa in his new capacity.
According to executives surveyed by the World Economic Forum for the study, South Africa’s transport infrastructure quality score places the country 1st out of 37 African countries surveyedand 48th globally
South Africa ranks 19th out of 37 African countries for visa openness
It ranks 17th out of 37 for cost competitiveness in the air transport industry, based on air ticket taxes, airport charges and VAT
Around 390,000 aircraft land and take off from one of South Africa’s main airports every year. Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport is the country’s busiest in terms of passengers with over 18.5 million travellers passing through the airport in 2014.
“Affordable, safe and reliable air transport is crucial to economic growth. It promotes skills development and is a catalyst for jobs. We urge the South African Government to remove any impediments, including unnecessary red-tape and policies that hinder air connectivity and the trade, investment, tourism and job opportunities it facilitates and stimulates,” added Albakri.
During his visit to Johannesburg, Mr. Albakri is meeting key industry stakeholders from South Africa’s government, the South African Civil Aviation Authority, Airports Company South Africa, Air Traffic Navigation Services, IATA member airlines in the country and IATA’s sub-regional sister organization, the Airlines’ Association of Southern Africa.
The privatisation of the country’s ports, railways, roads and other transport infrastructure has proved a thorny issue in South Africa over many years. Attempts to encourage private sector operation have generally produced a great deal of opposition.
Transnet’s proposals, therefore, carry political connotations. Yet at a time when the parastatal is being asked to do more and more but government finances are weak, it may have more success in gaining official backing for its policy.
In addition, its revenues have been affected by a three-year downturn in the price of the main dry bulk commodities it carries: coal and iron ore. Prices may have recovered somewhat but the outlook is still uncertain. Transnet is certainly one of the biggest companies on the African continent, although it is difficult to make a precise comparison because it is entirely state owned.
It is important to remember that one of the country’s biggest port facilities is already privately owned. Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) is owned by some of South Africa’s biggest coal mining companies, with smaller stakes held by empowerment interests.
Private sector companies also provide a wide range of logistics services, with Grindrod, in particular, developing a network covering the whole country and beyond. Grindrod is also expanding its own coal terminal at Richards Bay.
Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama first announced the policy at the eThekwini Maritime Cluster’s annual maritime summit in Durban in early April and the approach has been fleshed out since then. Gama said that the country needs R400bn ($30.25bn) in new logistics infrastructure but Transnet was unable to pay for it alone, so at least 25% should come from the private sector, which he believed had the required capital at its disposal.
Transnet has been criticised in recent years for its high port charges in comparison with many other countries around the world. However, Gama says that his company merely prices according to market conditions, while many other ports benefit from government subsidies. Indeed, according to the World Bank Global Logistics Competitiveness Report, South Africa is regarded as more competitive than China, India, Russia or Brazil.
Focus on Durban
By far the biggest planned Transnet project is the construction of a brand new container port on the site of the old Durban International Airport, about 25km south of Durban. However, given current financial constraints and lower than expected trade volumes, there is no fixed timetable for its development. At present, Transnet is focusing on improving its infrastructure elsewhere.
Work will begin this year on deepening three berths at Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 from 12.8 metres to 16.5 metres. This will allow access for the new generation of Super Post Panamax vessels at low tide as well as high tide.
The chief executive of TNPA, Richard Vallihu, said: “The continued investment in infrastructure and modernisation of our flagship Port of Durban is pivotal in meeting the ever increasing demands of the maritime industry, in particular, the ever increasing size of container vessels pulling into our ports.”
The company is also seeking to improve the efficiency of its operations in ways that do not require capital outlay. For instance, at the start of April it introduced an appointment system for the delivery of containers at Durban’s Pier 1.
Haulage companies are required to book a slot for delivery in order to spread activity over the course of the week, avoid congestion and reduce allegations that drivers pay bribes to avoid the queues that build up at peak times. Transnet has set a goal of ensuring that all trucks are processed within 35 minutes.
Some freight forwarders oppose the policy, arguing that they cannot be so precise as they are subject to delays from their own customers. Transnet Port Terminals’ general manager for container operations in KwaZulu-Natal, Julani Dube, said: “We have done the necessary research and tracked all movements and transactions over the past year to know where the problems are and what is realistically achievable if we get the necessary buy-in from stakeholders to implement the container appointment system.”
If you associate concrete with bulky and unsustainable architecture take a look at this beautiful and innovative airport terminal in Accra, Ghana. Italian architect Mario Cucinella, in collaboration with Deweger Gruter Brown & Partners, has designed a new building in Accra, Ghana that uses concrete in a surprisingly light and eco-friendly way. The clever brise soleil passive design strategy allows the building to be bright and open to natural light while keeping out the sweltering noon/afternoon sun in the summertime, cooling the building when it needs cooling the most. The design has already received the 4-Stars award by Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), which makes Cucinella’s One Airport Square the first green commercial complex in Ghana.
One Airport Square is a striking building featuring a very unique structure on its façade: a criss-crossing brise soleil made out of concrete. Its powerful aesthetic was inspired by the motifs of the traditional African fabrics and peculiar patterns of palm tree bark. While the design embraces local traditions, it also meets the needs of environmental sustainability.
The building’s shell is a combination of overhanging slabs and diagonal frames that shelter the interior against direct sun rays. Thanks to this design, One Airport Square features an unexpected envelope entirely made of glass and, therefore, 17,000 m² of bright interiors that are also protected from the intense sun. Who would have ever imagined a comfortable, completely glazed 9-story building in the heart of Africa?
Besides acting as a giant brise soleil, One Airport Square’s irregular grid is also a load-bearing element of the building.Interestingly, Cucinella did not simply deliver an eye-catching and sustainable landmark. The development of the Kotoka International Airport area in Accra is also a great public space. From the urban point of view, One Airport Square project is a congregation piazza that’s active day and night and capable of hosting various events and activities. The commercial gallery of the ground floor contains shops, restaurants and cafes, allowing One Airport Square to make a significant contribution to the surrounding community, landscape and providing an example in terms of ethics, cultural sensitivity and environmental sustainability.
At least thirty six airlines are gunning for a slice of Nairobi’s airport traffic, in a move that could support Kenya’s floundering tourism and ratchet up price competition.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority says 36 passenger and cargo airlines are seeking licences to operate local and international cargo and passenger flights, a move seen lifting Nairobi’s transport hub status ambitions.
Zimbabwe-based Global Africa Aviation (Put) Limited have sought licence to conduct cargo flights from Harare to Nairobi while West Wind Aviation Limited seeks approval to offer passengers and freight between Nairobi, East, West, Central and Southern Africa from its current base at Wilson Airport.
Italy’s Neos S.P.A and Meridiana Fly have sought approval to operate chartered flights on a bi-weekly basis from Malpensa, Italy to Mombasa and a weekly flight from Katowice-Hurghada to Mombasa respectively.
Other new entrants include Poland’s Small Planet Airlines that plans weekly flights to Kenya while Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation has sought licence to conduct cargo services from Nairobi to Jeddah and back.
On the East African front Auric Air Services Limited, Tanzanian Air Services and Air Excel Limited, all from Tanzania have sought to offer regional passenger services, thanks to the recently signed air traffic protocol that gives regional operators from East African Community automatic rights to use sister facilities at no extra cost.
Five Forty Aviation and Baracuda Airways Holdings Limited plan to launch weekly flights to Homa Bay while East African Safari Air Express Limited wants to be allowed to fly to Kabamet weekly.
DAC Aviation (E.A.) Limited wants to enjoy non-scheduled air services for passengers, cargo and mail within Kenya and to other points in Africa, Middle East and Asia.
Ocean Airlines Limited seeks to entrench its leadership in the Nairobi-Northern Kenya route and is seeking permission to fly people and cargo to from Nairobi to Kisumu, Garissa and Wajir.
Jetways Airlines Limited also wants to fly to South Sudan’s Juba capital via Entebbe, Mogadishu which will be integrated with its domestic route plying Eldoret, Lodwar, Kakuma, Mombasa, Malindi, La mu, Waji, and Mandera.
Treedo n Airlines Express Limited had also applied for inclusion of new routes to include Eastern and Central Africa while its domestic routes will be ferrying of passengers from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Ukunda, Wajir, and Eldoret.
Others are Kenya Homes Company Limited, Timbis Air Services, Aberdair Aviation Limited, Skymax Aviation Limited, Northwood Agencies Limited, Nairobi Mission Aviation Fellowship (K), GeoAir Limited, Transafrican Air Limited, Skyward Express Limited and Aeronav Limited.
South Africa has opened the continent’s first solar-powered airport in Western Cape. George Airport which serves over 600,000 passengers annually, has launched a clean energy project which, during its first phase, will contribute around 40% of the airport’s electricity needs. Once completed, the airport is expected to be totally independent of the national grid.
Africa’s aviation infrastructure has not kept pace with traffic demand, with extensive deterioration seen in infrastructure that is now in dire need of investment; however, the next three decades could see the sector shine, should a 15-year-old declaration be implemented. Print Send to Friend 0 1 African Civil Aviation Commission secretary-general Iyabo Sosina on Wednesday told delegates at the Infrastructure Africa conference, in Sandton, that airport and general aviation infrastructure in Africa was “not where it needs to be”.
Despite this, in the next 30 years, Africa’s aviation industry would be where the European aviation industry was currently, she assured, but only if the Yamoussoukro Decision of 1999 was adopted amid the above-average rise in traffic growth. The Yamoussoukro Decision, which was intended to liberalise intracontinental air services among all African nations, was slow to be adopted, with only a handful of African countries having, so far, embraced the “open skies” policies.
However, the implementation of the decision, which Sosina believed would be the saviour of Africa’s aviation industry, was on the right track, with the respective Transport Ministers across the region “scrambling” to advance the agreement and ensure that many of the required respective regulatory frameworks were in place. Sosina noted that the aviation sector was the vehicle of growth for any society, country or company and that more and more leaders were realizing that the aviation sector needed support and a platform to thrive.
Sosina noted that the aviation sector was the vehicle of growth for any society, country or company and that more and more leaders were realizing that the aviation sector needed support and a platform to thrive. Despite many African governments’ hesitation to provide a level playing field, for private sector airliners to competitively participate and to deal with other inherent challenges associated with aviation in Africa, a lot of work had been done in Africa that would lay the groundwork for an aviation industry as successful as that in Europe.
Further, with the African continent only holding 3% of the world’s air traffic and its yearly passenger traffic ahead of the global average, the opportunities were abundant and the “future bright”, she said. Africa was expected to have a yearly air passenger growth rate of 5.7%, above the world average of 4.7%.
South African Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has urged other African countries to join the eleven (including South Africa) that, in January, decided to liberalise air transport between them and create a single air transport market by 2017. She did so in a speech officially opening the recent Aviation Stakeholders Convention, which was delivered on her behalf by Department of Transport director-general Pule Godfrey Selepe. “This [agreement] is a massive achievement for the aviation industry on the continent as a whole,” he read. “Africa is big enough for all member States benefiting from joining these eleven countries.”
Peters expressed an understanding for those countries that wished to protect their national airlines, but pointed out that this was damaging air transport in Africa as a whole. “Liberalisation can lead to increased service levels and lower fares.” In turn, these would facilitate trade, tourism and enhance economic growth and development. She highlighted how those African countries which had already liberalised air transport on a bilateral basis had benefited as a result. These included South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zambia. Liberalisation of the South Africa–Kenya route in the early 2000s had, for example, increased air travel between the two countries by 69%.
She also pointed out that agreements which allowed low-cost carriers to operate between African countries had, in particular, led to fare reductions. However, within the Southern African Development Community, some countries were maintaining closed air transport regimes.
Peters also highlighted the importance of air safety. “South Africa remains committed to supporting safety initiatives. . . . South Africa is a key member and participates in regional air safety groups and initiatives.”
Peters was seconded by Director of Civil Aviation in the South African Civil Aviation Authority Poppy Khoza in her subsequent address to the convention. She also argued that Africa needed to liberalise its air transport sector. “We need to implement the Yamoussoukro Decision as a matter of urgency.” The decision mandates the liberalisation of the continent’s aviation sector. Implementation of the decision will stimulate development, economic growth, investment and employment across the continent and should be done speedily, she argued.
“States do need to remove trade barriers [between] each other,” she stated. “It has become clear that Africa will have to focus on benefiting from the forecast [economic] growth.” Yet, while not one African country has fully implemented the Yamoussoukro Decision, 23 have signed ‘open skies’ agreements with the US.
Because the implementation of the decision has been slow and limited, its benefits have not yet been realised. “In Africa, we have the greatest number of landlocked countries in the world,” she pointed out. “This increases the need for air transport.”
Moreover, the continent’s middle class, currently about 200-million strong, will continue to grow. “Africa has long remained an untapped source of aviation growth.” It is essential that the African aviation sector benefits from this situation. But, currently, 82% of intercontinental traffic to and from Africa is carried by non-African airlines. “We have only 18% market share.”
“There is a growing need for fast, efficient transport between countries, especially in Africa,” she said. “If we could unite in our efforts to open up Africa, we could offer competitive [ticket prices]. As a continent, we still need to work on cheap transport.”
This need for cooperation was another theme of her address. “Strong partnerships are indeed essential,” highlighted Khoza. “I would encourage each country to reach out to the continent with its particular strengths.” She observed that a lot of progress had already been made, including through the International Civil Aviation Organisation and its regional bodies, councils and seminars. She also cited South African technical support and specialised training for the aviation sectors of other Southern African countries. “There is a strong need for us, as an industry and a continent, to collaborate.”
The Aviation Stakeholders Convention was held at Emperors Palace, at OR Tambo International Airport, east of Johannesburg.
Follow Alive2Green on Social Media