Africa’s airports are busier than ever before

A surge in air traffic is keeping Africa’s airports busier than ever, according to new data. In the first seven months of this year, total international arrivals to the continent grew by 14% over the same period in 2016.

This strong growth was largely driven by a 13.2% increase in travel from Europe, which makes up nearly half the market and a 12.6% boost in intra-African travel, which is just over a quarter of the market.

The data was published by ForwardKeys, a London-based travel analysis firm.

Three South African airports – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban – are among Africa’s top 10 busiest airports, but the really impressive growth came in North Africa, especially in Tunisia (up 33.5%) and Egypt (up 24.8%). This was spurred by a huge increase in tourism from China after both countries lifted visa restrictions on Chinese citizens.

The positive trend is set to continue: as of July 31, seat bookings for flights to Africa are up 16.8% from where they were on the same date in 2016.

Olivier Jager, the CEO of ForwardKeys, said: “The growth in air travel to Africa is impressive. However, it is notable that consumer demand and airline investment is greater in travel to African countries from outside the continent than it is between African countries.”

One airport with less impressive figures is Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed International. During the next five months, capacity is expected to decline by 16% on domestic routes and 9% on international routes as a result of Arik Air’s funding issues.

 

M&G Fast

An actual Black Friday deal

Subscribe for R2/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Simon Allison
Simon Allison, The Continent
Simon Allison is the Africa editor of the Mail & Guardian, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Continent. He is a 2021 Young Africa Leadership Initiative fellow.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

The Covid-19 Omicron variant: What is known so far

As scientists scramble to learn more about it, infectious disease expert Professor Salim Abdool Karim says current vaccines are effective against the new variant

Black Friday better than 2020’s but consumer spending remains subdued

The momentous retail spending event, Black Friday, remains relevant in South Africa as total online spend year-on-year increased by 6%

Minister shakes up state housing entities in bid to improve...

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane appoints new boards because the structures were ‘wracked with infighting, rapid and frequent leadership changes, poor governance, corruption and loss of technical capacity’

High court allows Freedom Under Law to oppose Hlophe’s review...

The court found that the organisation’s past history in ensuring the misconduct inquiry against the Western Cape judge president was reopened refuted, rather than supported, Hlophe’s objections
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×