The Air Transport Industry and Aviation Ground-Handling Services in South Africa
The lockdown that started in March 2020 grounded thousands of aircraft globally and severed air service connections worldwide. Passenger departures from South African airports plunged by almost 80% in 2020 and revenues generated by the air transport industry and its value chain almost halved. Although the reopening of the skies has brought a measure of relief, aviation has been dealt a harder blow than most other sectors and is in crisis.
A substantial reduction in air travel left South Africa’s air transport industry in financial crisis, resulting in liquidations and business rescues, staff layoffs, salary reductions, unpaid leave and retrenchments. Affected airlines included SAA and SA Express, which were already in financial crisis, Mango, and Comair. Companies finding opportunities in the crisis included FlySafair and CemAir, which extended their services and Lift, which started flying in December 2020.
Airports and Aviation Services
Revenue shortfalls are expected to delay the implementation of several airport infrastructure projects such as taxiways, aprons and terminal work at OR Tambo and the new realigned runway and upgrades to the international and domestic terminals at Cape Town. Operationally, 2020 was an extremely challenging year for airport operators and aviation service providers, including cargo handlers and ground handlers.
This report focuses on the air transport industry and aviation ground-handling services in South Africa including airlines, airports and an array of support services such as air traffic and navigation services and ground handling. It includes comprehensive information on the size and state of the sector, air cargo, arrivals and departures, the aircraft register, airports, performance of major players and corporate actions. There are profiles of 40 companies including airlines such as SAA and Comair, airport operator Airports Company South Africa, companies involved in aircraft leasing such as Global Aviation Operations and companies involved in ground handling such as Menzies Aviation and Swissport.