The parties have jointly agreed on areas of strategic co-operation and information sharing and the agreement will allow employees from each organisation to learn from each other’s knowledge, skills and unique regional experience. The partnership with Acsa is Munich Airport Group’s first agreement with an airport operator on the African continent.
Acsa CEO Bongani Maseko told Fin24 that, just as Munich Airport is rated as the best airport in Europe, the OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg is rated as the best in Africa, while Cape Town International Airport has also won a number of accolades.
According to Airports Council International (ACI), Munich International Airport is the second busiest airport in Germany in terms of passenger traffic after Frankfurt Airport, and the seventh busiest airport in Europe, handling 39.7 million passengers in 2014. It was the first airport in Europe to receive a five star rating from Skytrax, the UK-based specialist research and advisory firm dedicated to improving airline customer experience globally.
“We believe we can learn from them and we equally believe we can offer something to them. We, therefore, see the agreement as an opportunity for both parties to increase passenger experience,” said Maseko.
He added that discussions about the agreement have been ongoing for over a year.
“Their view, just like ours, is that SA is the gateway to Africa. They also realise that, while the European aviation market has matured, the next real area of growth will be on the African continent,” said Maseko.
He explained that initially three phases of learning have been identified. The first relates to customer care and quality management, commercial services and information technology and airport consulting. The second phase relates to infrastructure development, real estate development and human resources development and training. The last phase will involve passenger facilitation and aspects of green airports, among others.
“These are just initial areas of focus. We will build a relationship on an ongoing basis as we identify other areas where we are happy to learn from them,” said Maseko.
Munich International Airport has been successful in the development of an aerotropolis servicing 500 companies across various industries.
Munich International Airport’s aerotropolis experience is regarded by Acsa as invaluable as it works with the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality to develop OR Tambo International Airport into Africa’s first true aerotropolis.
Acsa is currently planning construction to extend and align its runway at the Cape Town International Airport as well as a second mid-term field terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
“This agreement will usher in robust quality management systems for all aspects of the business while also strengthening our non-aeronautical services as we evolve to become a world-class airports management business,” said Maseko.