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Covid pandemic results in loss of R2.6bn for Acsa - only its second in 28 years

19 October 2021 6:46 PM
Tags:
Tourism
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Airports Company South Africa
Air travel
Acsa
Mpumi Mpofu
company results
Lockdown
COVID-19
Acsa results

Mpumi Mpofu (Airports Company South Africa CEO) tells The Money Show when closed parts of terminal buildings will be re-opened.
FILE: OR Tambo International Airport. Picture: @ortambo_int/Twitter.

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has lost money for only the second time in its 28-year history.

Acsa says its financial results for the year to 31 March 2021 reflect the devastating impact on aviation and tourism of the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While it produced a profit of R1.4 billion in 2019/20, the result for 2020/21 was a loss of R2.6 billion.

Passengers are welcomed by family and friends after the first international flight touched down at the Cape Town International Airport on 1 October 2020 after the South Africa government eased a coronavirus travel ban. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

Acsa noted that global air traffic fell by 65% in 2020.

In South Africa, its passenger figures for the year fell by 78.2% (from 21m to 4.6m) while total air traffic movements declined by 60%.

Bruce Whitifeld interviews Acsa CEO Mpumi Mpofu.

We never reached a zero, no aircraft landing even during the harshest lockdown.... The quietest month would have been about 5%.

Mpumi Mpofu, CEO - Airports Company South Africa

There was a point at which passenger aircraft were limited to repatriations... and we also had cargo flights, particularly as we started with the health and pharmaceutical transportation...

Mpumi Mpofu, CEO - Airports Company South Africa

While passenger activity is currently picking up, there is still a big difference between domestic and international traffic she says.

On the domestic side we've seen significant recovery... but on the international side it's relatively muted. That picture is global.

Mpumi Mpofu, CEO - Airports Company South Africa

Importantly, we are starting to see airlines reporting that they're flying back to South Africa, that they're increasing their frequencies... so all of that is good news... but [on the international side] it is really going to be relatively slow...

Mpumi Mpofu, CEO - Airports Company South Africa

In view of Acsa successfully paying down debt, will it soon be able to embark on upgrades to its airports?

Mpofu said in its response to Covid the company had to take drastic measures to defer major capital expenditure programmes.

That includes areas such as the terminal buildings in Cape Town, the runway extension and others.

Mpumi Mpofu, CEO - Airports Company South Africa

A drastic measure we took was the reduction of our operational costs... In essence what that involved is a mothballing of non-operational areas in our terminal buildings... We will be re-opening those areas and they will be demand-driven by traffic in those areas.

Mpumi Mpofu, CEO - Airports Company South Africa

The pragmatism of recovery requires us to be driven by traffic growth.

Mpumi Mpofu, CEO - Airports Company South Africa

For more detail, listen to the conversation below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Covid pandemic results in loss of R2.6bn for Acsa - only its second in 28 years




19 October 2021 6:46 PM
Tags:
Tourism
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
Airports Company South Africa
Air travel
Acsa
Mpumi Mpofu
company results
Lockdown
COVID-19
Acsa results

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