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    Friday, June 14, 2024

    Top Busiest Airports in Africa


    Airports have long been vital hubs of economic activity, facilitating the movement of people and goods across the globe. Over time, some airports have become busier than others driven by various factors such as geographical location, economic development, tourism, and connectivity.

    Air travel in Africa is poised to surpass pre-pandemic levels for the first time in 2024. From Cairo, home to Africa’s second-oldest airport, to Johannesburg, which uniquely offers direct flights to six continents, the continent’s aviation sector is on a robust recovery trajectory.

    A report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) highlights a significant 20.7% year-on-year increase in international passenger traffic for African airlines. This surge in capacity, up by 22.1% year-on-year, shows the growth within Africa’s aviation sector. This expansion mirrors a global trend, with total passenger traffic exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 5.7% in February 2024.

    In this context, Nairametrics has compiled a list of the busiest airports in Africa based on flight traffic in 2024 daily.

    Methodology

    This list highlights the busiest airports in Africa, measured by the number of scheduled daily departures, rather than the number of passengers. It includes only scheduled passenger flights and excludes freighters or chartered flights. This data is sourced from FlightsFrom.com, a travel tool website that publishes airline routes and schedules worldwide.

    15. Durban International

    Durban International Airport in South Africa ranks as the third-largest airport in the country, with an average of 55 daily flights.

    The busiest route is to Johannesburg (JNB), featuring an average of 204 weekly departures, accounting for over 55% of the airport’s total weekly flights.

    Key international destinations include Dubai (DXB) and Harare (HRE), with the Durban to Dubai flight taking approximately 8 hours and 20 minutes.

    Safair emerges as the leading airline at Durban International, with around 205 scheduled weekly departures, quadrupling the number of flights operated by the second-largest airline, CemAir.

    14. Kotoka International Airport Accra

    Kotoka International Airport (ACC), the largest airport in Ghana located in Accra, handles an average of 57 flights daily.

    Operating from three terminals (Terminal 1, 2, and 3), the airport’s busiest route is to Kumasi (KMS), with an average of 88 weekly departures, representing 22% of the total weekly flights.

    Major international destinations include Lagos (LOS) and Abidjan (ABJ). The longest flights from Kotoka are to New York (JFK), taking approximately 11 hours and 10 minutes, and to Dulles (IAD), with a flight time of 10 hours and 45 minutes.

    Here, Africa World Airlines has the highest departures, with around 117 scheduled take-offs weekly. The second largest operator is Passion Air.

    13. Zanzibar International Airport

    Zanzibar International Airport, the second-largest airport in the United Republic of Tanzania, plays host to an average of 70 daily flights. With two terminals (Terminal 2 and Terminal 3), its busiest route is to Dar Es Salaam (DAR), with a 221 weekly departures, accounting for 42% of the airport’s total weekly flights.

    Some of its most frequent international destinations include Nairobi (NBO) and Mombasa (MBA).

    Auric Air dominates the departures from Zanzibar, with approximately 123 scheduled take-offs each week, followed by Precision Air.

    12. Dar Es Salaam (DAR) – 75 flights every day

    As the largest airport in the United Republic of Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam International Airport (DAR) accommodates an average of 75 flights daily. Operating from three terminals, the airport’s busiest route is to Zanzibar (ZNZ), with an average of 173 weekly departures, accounting for 33% of the total weekly flights.

    Prominent international destinations from Dar Es Salaam include Nairobi (NBO) and Addis Ababa (ADD). The longest flights are to Guangzhou (CAN), taking around 11 hours, and to Amsterdam (AMS), with a flight time of 9 hours and 35 minutes.

    Air Tanzania leads in departures from DAR, with approximately 148 scheduled take-offs each week, followed by Precision Air.

    11. Marrakech Menara Airport

    Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK), the second-largest airport in Morocco with 79 daily flights on avergage it is a key aviation hub based in Marrakech.

    The busiest route from this airport is to Paris Orly (ORY), with an average of 45 weekly flights, making up 8% of all departures.

    Domestically, Casablanca (CMN) and Fes (FEZ) are the most popular destinations. The longest flights from Marrakesh are to New York (EWR), taking approximately 9 hours and 5 minutes, and to Montreal (YUL), with a flight time of 7 hours and 40 minutes.

    Ryanair stands out as the largest airline at Marrakesh Menara, with about 181 scheduled take-offs each week, followed by easyJet.

    10. Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport

    Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), the second-largest airport in Nigeria, handles an average of 79 daily flights. Flights depart from one of its four terminals (Terminal B, C, D, and E).

    The busiest route is to Lagos (LOS), with an average of 178 weekly departures, accounting for 32% of all weekly flights. Key international destinations include Accra (ACC) and Lome (LFW).

    The longest flights from Abuja are to Doha (DOH), taking approximately 8 hours and 40 minutes, and to London (LHR), with a flight time of 6 hours and 35 minutes.

    Air Peace leads in departures from Abuja, with around 149 scheduled take-offs weekly, followed by Cimber AS.

    The airport accommodates larger aircraft such as the Boeing 777, Airbus A350, and Airbus A340, while the most frequently scheduled aircraft types are the Boeing 737 and Embraer ERJ14X/13X.

    9. Tunis–Carthage International Airport (TUN)

    Tunis–Carthage International Airport (TUN), the largest airport in Tunisia, handles an average of 83 flights daily. With 26 airlines operating, you can fly to 65 destinations in scheduled passenger traffic.

    The busiest route Is to Mitiga, Tripoli (MJI) in Libya, with an average of 52 weekly flights, comprising 9% of all weekly departures. Popular domestic destinations include Djerba (DJE) and Sfax (SFA).

    Tunisair is the leading airline at Tunis–Carthage, with approximately 210 scheduled take-offs each week, followed by Nouvelair Tunisie.

    The airport accommodates larger aircraft such as the Boeing 777, Airbus A350, and Airbus A330. The most frequently scheduled aircraft types are the Airbus A31X/32X and Boeing 737.

    8. Houari Boumediene Airport Algier (ALG)

    Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG), the largest airport in Algeria located in Algiers, handles approximately 100 flights daily. Departures occur from one of its four terminals (Terminal 3, D, I, and W). The most frequently traveled route is to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) in France, with an average of 69 weekly flights, constituting 9% of all weekly departures. Domestically, popular destinations include Oran (ORN) and Constantine (CZL). The longest flights from Algiers are to Kuala Lumpur (KUL), taking around 13 hours and 10 minutes, and to Beijing (PEK), with a flight time of 11 hours and 45 minutes.

    Air Algerie leads in departures from Houari Boumediene, with approximately 509 scheduled take-offs each week, significantly surpassing the second-largest airline, Air France. The airport accommodates larger aircraft such as the Boeing 777, Airbus A330, and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, while the most frequently scheduled aircraft types are the Boeing 737 and ATR 72/42.

    7. Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos (LOS)

    Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria, stands as the country’s largest airport, handling an average of 101 daily flights. Flights operate from its two terminals, Terminal D and Terminal I.

    The busiest route is to Abuja (ABV), with an average of 178 weekly flights, comprising 25% of all weekly departures. Key international destinations from Lagos include Accra (ACC) and Doha (DOH). The longest flights include Lagos to Maasai Mara (ANA), a journey lasting approximately 23 hours.

    Air Peace leads in departures from Murtala Muhammed Airport, with around 193 scheduled take-offs per week, followed by Cimber AS.

    6. Cape Town International Airport (CPT)

    Cape Town International Airport (CPT), the second largest airport in South Africa, operates an average of 103 flights daily.

    The airport’s busiest route is to Johannesburg (JNB), with approximately 301 weekly flights, representing 41% of all weekly departures. Key international destinations from Cape Town include Windhoek (WDH) and Dubai (DXB).

    The longest flights from Cape Town are to Atlanta (ATL), with a flight duration of approximately 15 hours and 55 minutes, and to Dulles (IAD), taking about 15 hours and 45 minutes.

    Safair leads in departures from Cape Town International Airport, with around 268 scheduled take-offs per week, followed by Airlink (South Africa).

    5. Mohammed V International Airport –Casablanca (CMN)

    Mohammed V International Airport (CMN), the largest airport in Morocco located in Casablanca, operates with approximately 104 flights daily. Flights depart from its two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

    The most frequented route is to Paris Orly (ORY) in France, with an average of 46 weekly flights, constituting 6% of all weekly departures. Popular domestic destinations include Marrakech (RAK) and Agadir (AGA). The longest flights from Casablanca are to Miami (MIA), taking around 8 hours and 45 minutes, and to Dulles (IAD) with a flight time of 8 hours.

    Royal Air Maroc is quite popular for its departures from Mohammed V Airport, with approximately 559 scheduled take-offs each week, significantly surpassing the second largest airline, Air Arabia Maroc.

    4. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi (NBO)

    Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), the largest airport in Kenya situated in Nairobi, records approximately 123 flights daily.

    Flights operate from its five terminals (Terminal 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 2). The most frequented route is to Mombasa, with an average of 147 weekly flights, accounting for 17% of all weekly departures. Key international destinations from Nairobi include Kigali  and Entebbe .

    The longest flights from Jomo Kenyatta International are to New York (JFK), with a flight duration of approximately 15 hours, and to Changsha (CSX), taking about 11 hours and 15 minutes.

    Kenya Airways accounts for around 405 scheduled take-offs per week, followed by Jambojet Limited.

    3. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)

    Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD), the largest airport in Ethiopia, operates with a remarkable 194 flights daily. Flights depart from its two terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.

    The most frequently traveled route is to Bahar Dar (BJR), with an average of 106 weekly flights, representing 7% of all weekly departures.

    Key international destinations from Addis Ababa include Dubai (DXB) and Rome (FCO). The longest flights from Bole International Airport are to Sao Paulo (GRU), taking approximately 12 hours and 30 minutes, and to Shanghai (PVG), with a flight time of 11 hours and 45 minutes.

    Ethiopian Airlines has the most departure from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, with around 1,364 scheduled take-offs per week, significantly surpassing the second largest airline, Kenya Airways.

    2. Cairo International Airport (CAI)

    In second place for busiest airport in Africa is Cairo International Airport (CAI), the largest airport in Egypt with a record of 243 flights daily.

    Flights depart from one of its four terminals (Terminal 1, 2, 3, and S). The most frequently travelled route is to Jeddah (JED) in Saudi Arabia, with an average of 211 weekly flights, comprising 12% of all weekly departures. Popular domestic destinations include Hurghada (HRG) and Sharm el Sheikh (SSH).

    EgyptAir leads in departures from Cairo International Airport, with around 734 scheduled take-offs per week, significantly surpassing the second-largest airline, Air Cairo.

    1. Johannesburg International Airport (JNB)

    Johannesburg International Airport (JNB) stands as the busiest airport in Africa, handling an average of 251 flights daily.

    As the largest airport in South Africa, it operates flights from its two terminals, Terminal A and Terminal B. The most frequented route is to Cape Town (CPT), with an average of 300 weekly flights, accounting for 17% of all weekly departures.

    Key international destinations from Johannesburg include Harare (HRE) and Lusaka (LUN).

    Airlink (South Africa)has the highest departure rates from Johannesburg International, with around 657 scheduled take-offs per week, followed by Safair.

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