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Guide to the 15 Busiest Airports in Africa

What is the busiest airport in Africa? 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 destinationAfrica is a continent with a high demand for travel and cargo services to both local and international destinationsIt’s no surprise that Africa’s busiest airports can be found in the top tourist destinations and most visited countries in the continent. Here’s our list and guide to the top 15 busiest airports in Africa.

1. O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB)

this is the busiest airport in africa
Aerial view of Africa’s busiest airport, O.R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa | © O.R. Tambo International

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).

Address: 1 Jones Rd, Kempton Park, Johannesburg, 1632, South Africa

2. Cairo International Airport (CAI)

international airports in africa
Stores inside the Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt | © Anthony Rahayel

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 major business centres and top tourist destination in Africa. Cairo International Airport will continue to grow and meet the demand for quality air travel and airport services.

Address: Oruba Road, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt

3. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)

list of top busiest airports in africa
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD) | Photo: Courtesy of Fly Ethiopian

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.

Address: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

4. Cape Town International Airport (CPT)

international airports in africa
Cape Town International Airport | Photo: Courtesy of Southafricanaviation

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.

Address: Matroosfontein, Cape Town, 7490, South Africa

5. Mohammed V International Airport (CMN)

international airports in africa
Pearl Lounge (Departures) Casablanca Mohammed V Intl Terminal 2 | © Fateh BEL HADJ ALI

Coming in fifth, though just barely, is Mohammed V International AirportWith 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 MarocJetairfly and Air Arabia Maroc.

Address: Route de Nouasseur, Casablanca, Morocco

15 busiest airports in Africa by number of passengers, 2018

1. O. R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg, 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

Explore the 5 most colourful capital cities in Africa.


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