Passing with flying colours: Top three African airports are in SA

Despite the challenges faced by the tourism and aviation sectors over the last year, South Africa’s airports still rank tops on the African continent. SKYTRAX…

Despite the challenges faced by the tourism and aviation sectors over the last year, South Africa’s airports still rank tops on the African continent.


According to Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) spokesperson Refentse Shinners, the Skytrax World Airport Awards are the most prestigious accolades in the airport industry, voted independently by customers themselves in the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey.

Shinners explained that the survey evaluates the customer experience at airports across key performance indicators from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration through to the departure at the gate.


Shinners said ACSA was pleased that its largest airports have been voted by passengers in the top positions among Africa’s airports.

Cape Town International Airport was voted best airport on the African continent, followed by Durban’s King Shaka International in second place. Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport which is the country’s major international hub, came in third place.

Durban’s King Shaka International Airport was also voted as the best regional airport in Africa in the 2021 Skytrax survey. The airport is seeing a return of international airlines, including Emirates Airlines.

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Shinners said that the awards represent a great achievement for South Africa’s airports considering the challenges brought on by the pandemic.


Airports have seen declining revenues over the last year due to lockdowns and travel bans. These have resulted in a slump in demand for air travel, and consequently, severely reduced passenger volumes at airports.

Airports have also had to adapt to new ways of doing things, and to implement health and safety protocols for passengers and staff.


Passengers can rest assured that their safety is a matter of concern when passing through South Africa’s largest airports.

According to Shinners, the 2021 World Airport Awards included a special additional category this year, which recognised the changes and improvements made by airports to improve health, hygiene and safety standards during Covid-19.

“The inclusion of Covid-19 criteria to the passenger survey has ensured that the awards themselves remain relevant. In addition, these awards provide ACSA with further confirmation that we continue to meet global standards in health and safety measures at our airports. Our international airports also enjoy airport health accreditation from Airports Council International. This means that, even though challenges remain for local and international travel, passengers may be assured that they are safe when moving through our airports,” said Shinners, as quoted in News24.

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