Cape Town Air Access wins gold and brings home the Destination Marketing Award at World Routes 2022

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Cape Town Air Access wins gold and brings home the Destination Marketing Award at World Routes 2022
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Cape Town Air Access wins gold and brings home the Destination Marketing Award at World Routes 2022
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18 October 2022
  • Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) claims prestigious aviation award at World Routes 2022 in Las Vegas
  • The World Routes event is the biggest route development conference in the world, with over 2 000 attendees present from the aviation industry
  • The awards ceremony was comprised of seven categories totaling 1000 collective nominations – with Cape Town and the Western Cape winning on a global stage

The Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) project – powered by Wesgro – proudly walked away with the Destination award at World Routes 2022 hosted in Las Vegas today. With the awards ceremony comprised of seven categories totaling 1 000 collective nominations, this is the first time the CTAA project has won the award - following recognition as runner-up at World Routes 2018.

The World Routes event is the biggest route development conference in the world, with over 2 000 attendees present from the aviation industry. Nominated and judged by airlines, the awards ceremony is highly regarded, recognising the outstanding marketing services that have supported the launch of new air routes, and the development of existing services.

Following a suspension of the event since 2019 due to the COVID 19 pandemic, this year’s event saw the return of the industry’s most prestigious accolades.

“It is a great honour to receive the prestigious Destination Award at World Routes 2022,” said Wesgro CEO and Official Spokesperson of Cape Town Air Access, Wrenelle Stander.

“As a small project consisting of only five individuals competing against larger world-class destination authorities, the acknowledgement of this award indicates that our project has a winning formula. Bringing together key stakeholders across public and private sector, in both aviation, tourism and business - we are able to lean on each other’s strengths and collaborate for a more competitive Western Cape. This has enabled us to lead the way for proactive route development in Africa and globally,” added Stander.

The Provincial Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, Mireille Wenger, adds: “Congratulations to the Cape Town Air Access team on winning gold, and the Destination Marketing Award, at the very prestigious World Routes 2022 in Las Vegas. This significant achievement is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by the world-class Air Access collaboration in landing new routes to Cape Town and the Western Cape. More flights mean more visitors, and more visitors mean more jobs, and so we are a proud and committed partner in this programme. With over 191 flights into Cape Town International Airport a week, from January 2023, we are looking forward to a bumper tourism summer season, and our focus is now firmly on ensuring that we are ready for this impressive growth.”

The establishment of new routes to unserved destinations remains at the heart of the project’s objectives, however, following the pandemic, the consolidation of capacity through route expansion and retention has become equally important. The project plays a pivotal role in domestic network development and positioning and unlocking Cape Town’s air cargo potential.

Despite the many headwinds that have hit the tourism and aviation sector globally, the CTAA team has continued to punch well above their weight. After only reaching 31% international passenger recovery in 2020 and 20% in 2021, Cape Town reached a year-to-date recovery of 65%, with July 2022 reaching 87% of 2019 levels. Air cargo volumes have also recovered to 84% of 2019 levels (Jan-Jun).

Since March 2021, nine routes and four new destinations have been announced for Cape Town. The new routes include Airlink’s non-stop, three-weekly service from Maputo, Mozambique (31 August) and Air Belgium’s two-weekly, direct flight from Brussels, Belgium commencing 14 September. Amongst their many achievements this year, CTAA was subcontracted to assist Airports Company Zimbabwe (ACZ) with establishing their route development initiatives at Victoria Falls (VFA) and Harare International Airport (HRE). This led to the first-ever direct intercontinental service starting to VFA when Eurowings Discover launched their Frankfurt (FRA) -VFA service on 30 March 2022.

CTAA has also assisted Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) in South Africa with route development over the past three years which subsequently led to the first-ever direct intercontinental flight to MQP being announced. Eurowings Discover will fly from France to one of the most iconic and remote destinations in the world, the Kruger National Park, commencing on 15 November 2022.

Through collective efforts, United Airlines will begin a non-stop, Washington DC (IAD) service on 18 November complementing their current year-round Newark (EWR) route to CPT, both as three-weekly services. Delta Air Lines will commence a daily four-weekly service to Atlanta, USA, on a triangular ATL-JNB-CPT ATL routing on 2 December, as well as three non-stop, direct flights between ATL-CPT on 18 December. The ramp up in connectivity from these two mega American airlines means that Cape Town will now enjoy 13 year-round flights per week to the USA compared to December 2019 when only three seasonal flights operated per week.

Finally, after exiting the destination in 2015, Virgin Atlantic will make their long-awaited return to CPT with a daily seasonal service from London, Heathrow starting IATA winter 2022/23.

The Mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, concludes: “I would like to heartily congratulate Cape Town Air Access on their success in winning the World Routes Destination award. Our city has some of the most desirable tourism offerings on the planet, from the world-renowned Table Mountain National Park to the culturally vibrant Bo Kaap, from the beautiful Muizenberg and Llandudno beaches to unique township cuisine. Cape Town Air Access has once again proven their commitment to bringing direct flights from all over the world to ensure visitors delight in the Cape’s heritage; this continues to support the growth of our economy and create jobs for Capetonians.”

Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) was established in June 2015 and has been the point of contact for air route development in Cape Town, South Africa for the last seven years. The project is powered by Wesgro (the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape) and brings together six public sector entities including Wesgro, the Western Cape Provincial Government Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), the City of Cape Town (CoCT), Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Cape Town Tourism (CTT) and South African Tourism (SAT), and private sector partners including Investec Private Bank, DHL Global Forwarding and the V&A Waterfront. The mission is to increase air connectivity and capacity into the Western Cape.