Johannesburg is in danger of losing its hub status because its dominant carrier, SAA, has lost more than 13% of its international seat capacity between March and September this year.
This was the warning by Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) COO, Fundi Sithebe, during a panel discussion during the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Africa Leaders Forum in Stellenbosch.
Sithebe mentioned SAA’s capacity cuts were diminishing the role of Johannesburg as a hub, because the key driver of a hub was its dominant carrier. She said SAA accounted for 46% of passenger numbers at OR Tambo International Airport. “The threat is real that East and West Africa will take over from Johannesburg as a hub. We really need to entice passenger (growth) policies with a dominant airline at Johannesburg,” she said. Cash-strapped SAA has been scaling back on unprofitable routes to save costs until such time that they can compete in those markets again.