South Africa flight route among ten busiest in the world - report
With 31 914 flights in 2017, the route between Cape Town and Johannesburg was the 9th busiest between two airports in the world last year.
This is according to a new report by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). The report, entitled Aviation: Benefit beyond Borders, was released at the ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva on Tuesday.
The Cape Town - Johannesburg route has beaten the one between Beijing and Shanghai in 10th place with 30 029 annual flights.
The busiest "airport pair" in 2017 was the route between Jeju, an island off the coast of South Korea, and Seoul's Gimpo International Airport with 64 991 flights recorded for the year. In second place was the route between Melbourne and Sydney (54 519 annual flights) and third that between Mumbai and Delhi (47 462 annual flights).
The ATAG report says the aviation industry in South Africa supports about 472 000 jobs and contributes about $9.3bn (about R134bn) to the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The industry is especially important as a catalyst for SA's important tourism industry.
In Africa as a whole, the aviation sector directly employed over 415 000 people in 2016. Air transport in Africa is estimated to support 6.2 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and $55.8bn of the continent's economic activity. That was 1.8% of all employment and 2.6% of all GDP in African countries in 2016.
Every person directly employed in the aviation sector and in tourism made possible by aviation supported another 14.8 jobs elsewhere in Africa, according to the report.
Similarly, $5.40 of economic activity was supported elsewhere in Africa for every $1 of gross value added directly created by the air transport sector.
Airlines, airport operators, retailers and other on-site businesses at airports and air navigation service providers and civil aircraft manufacturers also contribute to GDP in Africa. In 2016, the operations of these businesses directly generated a $10.3bn contribution to GDP.
The aviation sector’s spending with suppliers is estimated to have supported a further 601 000 jobs and a $6.8bn gross value-added contribution to GDP.
In addition, wage payments to staff – by the aviation sector and businesses in the aviation sector’s supply chain – supported 248 000 more jobs and a $2.8bn gross value-added contribution to GDP.
The aviation sector also facilitates a substantial amount of tourism in Africa. This stimulates still more economic activity, as tourists spend their money with restaurants, hotels, retailers, tour operators, and other providers of consumer goods and services, the report points out.
In 2016, spending by foreign visitors who flew to African countries supported an estimated 4.9 million jobs and a $35.9bn contribution to GDP.