Top 5 South Africa’s Busiest Airports

On your way for a well-deserved holiday or that all-important business trip? Check out our terminal guide to the arrival halls you’ll likely find yourself passing through.

5. East London Airport


Nearly three-quarters of a million people came and went in the last year. A handy option for exploring the beauty of the rural Eastern Cape, as well as dipping your toes in the warm Indian Ocean away from the tourist crowds up the coast in Durban.

4. Port Elizabeth International

Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth

We jump up to 1.6 million total movements for PE – East London’s big brother down the coast. Regular flights to the Friendly City from all of South Africa’s major hubs make it convenient enough and it’s the place to be for a spot of whale watching or the Addo Elephant Park.

Also at one end of the Garden Route so pick up your bags, hire a car and cruise on down to Cape Town along the southern tip of the great continent.

3. King Shaka International, Durban


Is it us or did things just heat up? Tropical Durban’s airport is just in its infancy at six years old, but has already been hooked up to international hubs Istanbul and Dubai in recent years.

Add in a bundle of daily flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town (it’s South Africa’s ‘golden triangle’, don’t you know) and you have a thriving, accessible destination that handled very nearly 5 million passenger trips last year.

2. Cape Town International

Thomas Cook - overall aerial view of Cape Town

Rebuilt for the 2010 Football World Cup, the Mother City’s airport saw over nine-and-a-half million passengers through its doors in 2015/16, double that of Durban.

Being at the end of the continent has hardly left this world-renowned destination cut off from civilisation, with passengers from all over Europe and Asia able to fly direct – cutting out the hassle of a stopover at our number one-ranked airport…

1. O R Tambo International, Johannesburg


Dealing with half of South Africa’s total passenger travel involving wings, the gateway to eGoli kept pace with the baggage, security and neck pillows of over 20 million souls last year.

Many pass through on their way to South Africa’s other destinations, but an ever-growing number end their journey in Jozi for both business and pleasure.


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