Those flying in or out of Africa, the second largest continent in the world, will be delighted with our guide to these top airports in Africa. Airports are often the first place you arrive at when you visiting any African travel destination. Africa, a continent with a high demand for travel and cargo services to both local and international destinations. It’s no surprise that Africa’s busiest airports are located in the major tourist destinations in the continent. Here’s our list and guide to some of the busiest airports in Africa.
We also recommend our guide to the 5 most colourful capital cities in Africa.
1. O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB)
O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa is Africa’s busiest airport. It is the only airport to serve over 20 million passengers yearly, and has done so for three years running. Chances are that you or someone you know has passed through Johannesburg International Airport, as it is the largest connections hub in Africa, with non-stop intercontinental flights to all continents except the Antarctica. This world-class airport is Africa’s biggest airport and has held the number one spot for years now. The O. R. Tambo International Airport is the hub of South Africa’s largest international and domestic carrier, South African Airways (SAA).
2. Cairo International Airport (CAI)
Second on our list is the Cairo International Airport with over 17 million passengers annually. Cairo International Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Egypt and the second busiest airport in Africa. It is the hub for several airlines including EgyptAir, EgyptAir Express, and Nile Air. With the Africa’s economy booming and Cairo, Egypt, being one of the continent’s top business centres and top travel destination in Africa. Cairo International Airport will continue to grow and meet the demand for quality air travel and airport services.
3. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)
Formerly known as Haile Selassie I International Airport, the Addis Ababa Bole International has seen a massive surge in growth over the past several years. From expanding its facilities to increasing passenger traffic, it has pushed ahead of Cape Town International Airport, previously Africa’s third busiest airport. It is also arguably the fastest-growing airport in Africa. This airport is the main hub of Ethiopian Airlines, the national airline offers flights numerous destinations across five continents. Addis Ababa International and its partner airlines handles nearly 450 flights per day, both departing from and arriving at the airport. Addis Ababa airport is also the base of the Ethiopian Aviation Academy.
4. Cape Town International Airport (CPT)
The Cape Town International Airport is the primary airport serving the city of Cape Town, and it ranks as the fourth largest and busiest airport in Africa. With over 10 million passengers annually, it continues to see growth in passenger traffic and expand to accommodate it. Cape Town International offer direct flights to several destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The Cape Town and Johannesburg air routes combined, is one of the world’s busiest air route.
5. Mohammed V International Airport (CMN)
Coming in fifth, though just barely, is Mohammed V International Airport. With just over 9 million annual passengers, it is the busiest airport in Morocco and the fifth busiest in Africa. Named after King Mohammed V of Morocco, Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport is hub for Royal Air Maroc, Jetairfly and Air Arabia Maroc.
Africa’s 15 busiest airports 2018 by passengers
1. O. R. Tambo International Airport(Jozi, South Africa) — 21.2 million passengers
2. Cairo International Airport(Cairo, Egypt) — 17.5 million
3. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (Ethiopia) — 12.1 million4
4. Cape Town International Airport (Cape Town, South Africa) — 10.7 million
5. Mohammed V International Airport (Casablanca, Morocco) — 9.7 million
6. Houari Boumediene Airport (Algeria) — 7.9 million
7. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Kenya) — 7.1 million
8. Hurghada International Airport (Hurghada, Egypt) — 6.6 million
9. Murtala Muhammed International Airport (Lagos, Nigeria) — 6.5 million
10. Tunis-Carthage International Airport (Tunisia) — 6.2 million
11. King Shaka International Airport (Durban, South Africa) — 5.8 million
12. Marrakesh Menara Airport (Marrakesh, Morocco) — 5.2 million
13. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (Mauritius) — 4.1 million
14. Sharm El Sheikh International Airport (Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt) — 3.7 million
15. Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (Abuja, Nigeria) — 3.6 million