SA home to three best airports in Africa

1 April 2011

South Africa’s three major international airports, OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International, scored a treble at the 2011 Skytrax World Airport Awards, being named the top three airports in Africa.

For the first time since the prestigious awards were established in 1999, Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport (formerly known as Johannesburg International Airport) was named the best airport on the continent, pushing the previous winner, Cape Town International Airport, into second place.

Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, which replaced the old Durban International Airport when it started operations in May 2010, was named third best airport in Africa.

The awards were made at a ceremony held during Passenger Terminal Expo 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark this week.

They are based on the results of an annual survey of 11.38-million questionnaires completed by airline passengers over 100 different nationalities, covering more than 240 airports worldwide.

The survey, highly regarded for its clarity and independence, bases its results on unsolicited customer responses, with no subscription or membership required for an airport to be included. It evaluates traveller experiences across 39 different airport service and product factors, from check-in, arrivals and transfer through to departure at the gate.

South Africa’s flagship airport, OR Tambo International Airport is the air transport hub of southern Africa and one of the 100 busiest in the world, catering for more than 17-million passengers each year. In 2010, the airport handled 8.82-million departing passengers.

With more than 18 000 people employed by various companies at the airport, OR Tambo International plays a vital role in the economies of Johannesburg and Gauteng province, and boasts an impressive infrastructure that has expanded by thousands of square metres from its modest origins.

Cape Town International, Africa’s third-largest airport, is also Africa’s premier tourist and VIP destination and has established a reputation as the continent’s premier international award-winning airport, consistently performing among the best in the world for service in its category.

King Shaka International Airport, located at La Mercy, approximately 35 kilometres north of Durban’s city centre, opened its doors to passengers on 1 May 2010. The airport was built from scratch at a cost of R7.9-billion to replace the old Durban International Airport, which had become too small to handle the growing tourist and commercial trade through Durban.

SAinfo reporter

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