British Airways is putting pressure on the South African government, tourism and football authorities to deal with air access ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. According to All Africa Global Media, Britain’s flag carrier has called for “political will” to ensure there will be enough flights during the games.
Meetings have already been held by the government authorities and the airline.
“We have informally talked to the Premier Soccer League, and FIFA and will continue to engage as many people as we can. So far everyone we have talked to have agreed that sufficient air access will be crucial to the success of the event” Stephen Forbes, BA spokesman told All Africa Global Media.
“It (air access) should also be relatively simple to fix if there is the political will to do so, but it cannot be left until the last minute. We need the four years to understand the capacity requirements so that we can inform our planning (personnel)”
Compared to this year’s tournament in Germany, the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa is likely to require more logistical support, because the distance for European fans to travel is greater.
Capacity from other African countries to South Africa could also become an issue for the soccer tournament since air lift is subject to bilateral agreements between SA and various countries.
South African Tourism Minister, Moeketsi Mosola has reiterated that air capacity was one of the barriers to the growth of the tourism industry.