Mmegi Online :: Air passengers near one million in 2011 - report
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Last Updated
Friday 16 November 2018, 13:42 pm.
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Air passengers near one million in 2011 - report

The volume of local and international passengers in the country's skies reached 788,461 last year up nine percent from 2010, as the country's aviation sector inches towards the "magical" figure of one million air passengers.
By Staff Writer Mon 19 Nov 2018, 08:01 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Air passengers near one million in 2011 - report








The number of air passengers last year was the highest in the country's aviation history, with the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana data indicating steady annual growth from 427,356 passengers in 2001.

A Statistics Botswana brief released last week indicates that of the country's six major airports, the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport accounted for nearly 54 percent of all passengers last year, most of these being international travellers.

Maun Airport was second-placed, accounting for more than 222,000 passengers in 2011, with most of these travelling locally.  Traditionally, SSKIA and Maun are the country's biggest airports in terms of passenger volumes and aircraft movements.

Set against the Civil Authority's air travel data for 2010, the Statistics Botswana brief reveals that the volume of air passengers using SSKIA declined marginally in 2011, while Maun Airport witnessed a sizeable improvement over the same period.

Francistown, Selebi-Phikwe and Kasane airports all registered growth between 2010 and 2011, with the latter rising from 67,633 passengers to 85,179.  By contrast, Gantsi airport, the smallest of the six major airports by both volume and aircraft movements, declined nominally in 2011. The comparison of figures also indicates that Maun Airport shrugged off the ill effects of the recession to return to growth in air passengers in 2011.  Air passenger volumes at Maun Airport plummeted from 270,750 in 2009 to 207,671 in 2010 before returning to positive growth last year.

In terms of aircraft movements, or each landing and takeoff from an airport, Maun Airport was the country's busiest airport

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last year.  The airport accounted for nearly 60 percent of total aircraft movements recorded at the country's six major airports in 2011.

According to the statistics agency, of the total 82,799 local and international aircraft movements recorded last year, Maun Airport accounted for 47,508, easily eclipsing the country's premier gateway, the Sir Seretse Khama Airport, which recorded 16,922.

Statistics Botswana's brief indicates that of the 47,508 aircraft movements recorded by the Civil Aviation Authority at Maun Airport, 44,101 were local flights. By comparison, of the 16,992 movements recorded at Sir Seretse Khama Airport, 11,338 were classified as international.

The data for Maun confirms World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) projections of a rosy 2011 for the country's travel and hospitality sector, following two years of dour performances. According to the WTTC, last year international tourists on both business and leisure trips spent P6.5 billion in Botswana, from an estimated P6.04 billion in 2010.

The WTTC, which currently produces the most authoritative figures on the tourism economy in Botswana, expects spending to rise to nearly P7 billion this year. For 2012, the country's aviation sector is expected to be boosted by the possible completion of the multi-billion Airports Infrastructure project which involves the expansion and refurbishment of Maun and Sir Seretse Khama, and Francistown airports. In addition, airlines have announced more domestic and international flights for 2012, with SA Airlink planning daily flights between Johannesburg and Maun.  Air Botswana has also said it will introduce a daily Maun-Cape Town flight.

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