ACSA thriving amid uncertainty and unpredictability in aviation industry: Mpofu

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The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) says uncertainty and unpredictability have dominated the aviation industry in recent years. However, the company has shown resilience amid challenges facing the sector.

The company says trading conditions have still not fully recovered from the effect of Covid-19-related restrictions.

ACSA says the year under review’s performance was much better than that of the past two years. But factors such as the ongoing rolling blackouts are tempering the recovery.

While some positive developments are emerging in the domestic market with improving passenger numbers,  ACSA Chief Executive Officer, Mpumi Mpofu says the local segment has also shown more difficulty in its operating environment.

“Whilst there were restrictions internationally, we saw a slower recovery in our international segment. The recent liquidation of Comair and other airlines also faced great difficulty in our domestic environment. The news of SA Express also final liquidation I think yesterday all of these have had a negative impact on our domestic market and particularly impact on the reduction on the fleet capacity.”

ACSA Chief Financial Officer, Sphamandla Mthethwa says the company reduced its losses to R1 billion from R2.6 billion the previous year. Mthethwa attributes the losses partly due to the difficult trading conditions.

“Due to the tough trading environment our impairment of trade receivables had to increase just to take into account the difficulty with the collection of our debt, but the net result of all of that is that we see a net loss of a billion. But as I’ve indicated, a positive EBIDA is a trend that we would like to see going forward.”

Although there are clear green shoots that are starting to appear, ACSA says its international travel segment is still severely impacted by restrictions in other countries.

The airport’s company saw its revenue going up 81% from R2.2 billion to R3.9 billion. The company says its financial position remains solid with a strong asset base and low levels of debt.