from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – THE King Shaka International Airport has reported a significant increase in domestic and international air cargo over the past year.
It is heading towards pre-pandemic levels.
The air cargo business in Durban has made a recovery of 55 percent, with both international and domestic airlines returning and network traffic at King Shaka rebounding by 67 percent.
As a result, the Dube TradePort Cargo Terminal processed 10 997 tons of cargo from April 2022 to date, indicating a 31 percent increase from the previous year.
“We have always maintained that once we have the airfreight capacity, freight forwarders and shippers will choose to fly cargo directly into Durban, this positive movement reaffirms our understanding of the KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) air cargo market,” noted Ricardo Isaac, Senior Manager: Cargo Development and Operations Dube TradePort Cargo Terminal.
Between 2015 and 2020, Dube TradePort Cargo Terminal managed to capture over 60 percent share of the KZN air cargo market effectively doubling cargo volumes, being processed through Durban.
This was a direct result of increasing airfreight capacity with the introduction of new passenger services.
Re-establishing more of Durban’s domestic and regional air services remains a priority for both cargo and passenger volumes to grow.
Isaac said when Comair exited the market, it left a capacity gap of around 38 percent for King Shaka.
Operators like Airlink, CemAir, FlySafair and Lift have come in to fill the void on the domestic routes adding much-needed capacity.
The resumption of South African Airways (SAA) on the route also contributed to available capacity.
On the regional front Airlink successfully re-launched the Durban-Harare (Zimbabwe) route last year.
“As we go into the second quarter of 2023, we are working with ProFlight Zambia to re-establish the Durban – Lusaka route,” Isaac concluded.
– CAJ News