Airports are the gateway to every country. Hence the need to present the best image of a country to foreign visitors, ensuring that airport facilities are state of the art and well maintained.
Based on these factors and more, a UK-based consultancy service, Skytrax, which specializes in airline and airport ratings, has compiled an annual ranking of the best airports in the world.
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Since 1999, Skytrax’s annual Airport Customer Satisfaction Survey has focused on customer service and facilities at more than 500 airports worldwide, to determine the best airports in different regions of the world.
Here are the 10 best airports in Africa
1. Cape Town International Airport
It is currently the best airport in Africa. Commissioned in 1954, this airport is one of the oldest and busiest on the continent. From this airport, travelers can get direct flights to major travel destinations in Africa, the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
2. King Shaka International Airport
Located 35 kilometers north of Durban, King Shaka International Airport was commissioned in 2010 and mainly serves the city of Durban. It replaced Durban International Airport which was decommissioned in 2010. According to public information, the passenger terminal at the airport has the capacity to handle 7.5 million passengers annually.
3. Johannesburg Airport, also known as OR Tambo International Airport.
This airport is one of the busiest in Africa, with a capacity of almost 30 million passengers per year. It was established in 1952 and was initially known as Jan Smuts International Airport.
4. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, Mauritius
It is the main airport of Mauritius. Commissioned shortly after the end of World War II in 1945, the airport was initially known as Plaisance Airport. Since the 1940s, the airport has undergone major reconstruction to expand and modernize it. It is also said to have played an important role in the Mauritian economy.
5. Marrakech Menara Airport
Also known as Marrakech Menara Airport in French, it is Morocco’s main international airport, receiving millions of passengers from Europe, the Middle East and other parts of the world. The airport has been around since the 1940s, as it played an important role in serving as a hub for the US military. Since then, it has undergone development, including an extension to the main terminal in 2008.
6. Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca
It is also a major international airport in Morocco which specifically serves the city of Casablanca. Originally named Berrechid Airfield, it was built by the United States in 1943 and served as an auxiliary airfield. Although the United States temporarily ceded ownership of the airport to Morocco at the end of World War II, the North African country did not take full ownership until 1959. It was then renamed Mohammed V International Airport, in honor of Mohammed al-Khamis bin Yusef bin Hassan al-Alawi, Sultan of Morocco from 1927 to 1953.
7. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
Established in 1962, Addis Ababa-Bole International Airport is Ethiopia’s main international airport. It replaced the now disused Lidetta military airport and has since undergone major expansion works, including the ongoing expansion of its passenger terminal, which is run by Chinese companies.
8. Kigali International Airport
Rwanda is a landlocked country. This may explain why the country does not mess with its airports, especially Kigali International Airport which is the main one. According to public data, the airport was designed to accommodate around 400,000 passengers per year. But in 2013, more than 600,000 passengers were registered for local and international trips. This has prompted plans to expand passenger terminals, although efforts to build a new airport are underway.
9. Port Elizabeth International Airport
It is another South African airport that serves the city of Port Elizabeth. Also known as Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport, it was established in 1929. Its facilities have since undergone extensive reconstruction in order to adapt to the modern era.
10. Bram Fischer International Airport, Bloemfontein
It is the main airport for the city of Bloemfontein, one of the three capitals of South Africa. Formerly known as Bloemfontein Airport, its name was changed in November 2012 in a ceremony presided over by former South African President Jacob Zuma.
Photo credit: africanexponent