Meet The Winners: Cape Town Air Access

For the second consecutive year in a row, Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) scooped Destination Award at the Routes World Awards.

The route development project, established by the economic development agency Wesgro, continues to attract new service to the South African city, including increasing connectivity to North America.

Until late 2019, Cape Town lacked nonstop service to the region but now it boasts connections from Newark Liberty International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport with United Airlines, as well as Delta Air Lines’ nonstop service from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and a one-stop via Johannesburg.

Additionally, South African Airways (SAA) in October 2023 resumed long-haul flights for the first time in over three years with the launch of a new route from Cape Town International Airport (CPT) to Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport (GRU).

Cape Town- São Paulo became the carrier’s first intercontinental route from Cape Town in 11 years since flights to London Heathrow ended in August 2012. CTAA highlighted São Paulo as the most significant unserved market with the highest growth potential for Cape Town and the Western Cape in 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.

In 2019, approximately 43,000 two-way passengers traveled between the two regions, with an average annual growth rate of 26% between 2015 and 2019. The implementation of the direct flight, which takes approximately eight hours, will reduce the current travel time by over 50%.

Regarding long term goals, CTAA is working with its partners and stakeholders in the with the aim of securing a direct flight to Australia. Due to the substantial growth in the market, targets include Perth, Melbourne, or Sydney.

Having received the Destination Award for the second year in a row, CTAA’s Paul van den Brink notes how recognition is of extreme importance: “It shows we’re on good track and our strategy works. All the stakeholders we work with are very proud.

“For them it’s also recognition that as a destination we are on the right track and we hope not only to attract new airlines, but also foreign investors, more tourism, and more trade into the destination.”