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Africa’s top three airports rank higher than any airports in the USA

The World Airport Awards 2013 – recently released by Skytrax, a United Kingdom-based company specialising in airline and airport research – has ranked the top airports in the world, including those in Africa. The results show that South African airports take a considerable lead over other airports on the continent and, in some cases, the world. Airport 200x240

According to Skytrax, over 12 million passengers from more than 160 countries were surveyed. The survey looked at traveller experiences across 39 different categories – from the check-in process to airport shopping – and covers just under 400 airports.

Only three African airports made the global top 100 list and these were all from South Africa. These airports were placed highly across a number of categories, and all three improved in their global ranking from the previous year.

South African airports dominate the African rankings

South Africa’s Cape Town International Airport has been ranked as the top airport in Africa, and 22nd globally. This has been a five-point increase up the global rankings, from 27th place in 2012. Cape Town is also ranked as the best airport in the world in the category of airports with 5-10 million passengers per year. Interestingly, the airport is said to have the 6th best airport staff in the world, and the best in Africa.

Durban’s King Shaka International Airport in South Africa is rated as the second best airport on the continent. It is ranked in 26th position globally, a nine point increase up the rankings from 35th position in 2012. It is also placed as the best airport in the world for the category of airports with under five million passengers per year. In addition, King Shaka has the 2nd best airport staff in Africa, and it is rated as the best regional airport on the continent.

The third best ranked airport in Africa is Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport – positioned at 28th place globally, an improvement of three places from its 31st position in 2012. In the category for airports with 10-20 million passengers per year, OR Tambo is ranked as the 9th best airport in the world. InterContinental at OR Tambo Airport was ranked as the best airport hotel in Africa, with the Garden Court coming in at 3rd place.

These three South African airports all appeared in the top third of the global 100 list, beating well known airports such as the Dubai International Airport (33rd) and the Sydney Airport (31st). What is truly impressive is that all three South African airports were ranked higher than any American airport this year.

Other South African airports to make the list for the top 10 airports in Africa include the East London Airport, ranked 6th in Africa and 4th in terms of best airport staff on the continent. It is also ranked as the 2nd best regional airport in Africa.

South Africa’s Port Elizabeth Airport was ranked as the 8th best airport in Africa and 5th in terms of its airport staff. It was also ranked as the 3rd best regional airport on the continent.

Africa ranked

While only Cape Town, King Shaka and OR Tambo represented Africa in the rankings of the top 100 airports in the world, the survey did rate the top 10 African airports, which has only changed slightly from the previous year.

Top 10 airports in Africa
2013 rankingAirportCountry2012 ranking
1Cape Town International AirportSouth Africa1
2Durban's King Shaka International AirportSouth Africa3
3Johannesburg's OR Tambo International AirportSouth Africa2
4Cairo International AirportEgypt4
5Mauritius International AirportMauritius5
6East London AirportSouth Africa6
7Addis Ababa Bole International AirportEthiopia7
8Port Elizabeth AirportSouth AfricaN/A
9Marrakech Menara International AirportMorocco8
10Seychelles International AirportSeychelles9

Egypt: The Cairo International Airport has been ranked as the 4th best airport in Africa, with the Novotel Cairo Airport being named the 2nd best airport hotel on the continent.

Mauritius: The Mauritius International Airport took the 5th position in Africa, with no change since the previous year.

The survey also rated regional airports in Africa. South Africa and North African countries, such as Morocco and Egypt, dominated this list.

Top 10 regional airports in Africa
2013 rankingAirportCountry
1Durban's King Shaka International AirportSouth Africa
2East London AirportSouth Africa
3Port Elizabeth AirportSouth Africa
4Marrakech Menara International AirportMorocco
5Bloemfontein AirportSouth Africa
6Tunis–Carthage International AirportTunisia
7Casablanca Mohammed V International AirportMorocco
8Sharm el-Sheikh International AirportEgypt
9Douala AirportCameroon
10Hurghada International AirportEgypt

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  • aj

    Who ever did this ranking has not been to Kenya, or came to Douala at Ranking the Douala Airport ahead of the Kenyan Airport is an error.
    If Douala is on the list, then Kinshasa should also be on the list, and the list should be talking about worst airports in the world.

    • thabo

      I HAVE BEEN TO’s no where closer to the airport in’s ulgy,it’s slow

  • Cherry

    Remember that Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg all enjoy brand new airports that have been upgraded recently. This gives us the chance for a high ranking but only momentarily. As other global airports are modernised and upgraded we will be overtaken. Let’s just enjoy the prestige for the brief moment that it lasts.

  • greg mccray

    Even if they are in South Africa, its still a shock, as an American to read there are airports anywhere in Africa that are ranked higher than any facility in America. Wow! Pres. Obama just mentioned this report in his news conference today. Its way past time for us to realize the rest of the world is moving past us. We need to get it together.

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