10 best international airports in Africa - Ranking

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On Tuesday, March 22nd, the Nigerian Government unveiled the newly built international terminal at the international airport, creating a new travel experience for air passengers passing through the Lagos international airspace.

Local media reports, the facility truly beautiful place, befitting of a country that claims to be the "giant of Africa". However, this Nigeria does not have one of the top best airports in Africa.

International airports are the gateway to every country. Hence, the need to present the best image of a country to foreign visitors, by ensuring those airport facilities are state-of-the-art and well maintained.

Based on these and many other factors, a UK-based consultancy service- Skytrax, specialising in airline and airport reviews put together an annual World Airports Awards.

Since 1999, each year, Skytrax's airport customer satisfaction survey focuses on customer service and facilities in more than 500 airports around the world, in a bid to conclude the best airports in different parts of the world.

Below are the 10 best international airports in Africa.

1. Cape Town International Airport

This is one of the continent's oldest and busiest airports. Commissioned in 1954, this is currently the best airport in Africa. From this airport, travellers can get direct flights to major travel destinations across Africa, the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

2. King Shaka International Airport

Located 35 kilometres away from the north of Durban, the King Shaka International Airport was commissioned in 2010 and primarily serves the city of Durban. It replaced the Durban International Airport, which was decommissioned in 2010. The airport's passenger terminal has the capacity to accommodate 7.5 million passengers every year.

3. Johannesburg Airport, also known as the O.R Tambo International Airport

Established in 1952, this airport is one of the busiest in Africa, having the capacity to handle nearly 30 million passengers per annum. It was established in 1952 and was originally known as the Jan Smuts International Airport.

4. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, Mauritius

This is the main airport in Mauritius. Commissioned shortly after the end of the Second World War in 1945, the airport was initially known as the Plaisance Airport. Since the 1940s, the airport has undergone major re-constructions to expand and modernise it.

5. Marrakesh Menara Airport - Morocco

Also known as Aéroport Marrakech Ménara in French, this airport is the main international airport in Morocco, receiving millions of passengers from Europe, the Middle East and other parts of the world. The airport has been around since the 1940s, as it played a huge role serving as a hub for the US military. Since then, it has undergone modifications, including a 2008 extension to the main terminal, which has left the airport's architecture with a mixture of traditional and modern elements.

6. Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca

This is another major international airport in Morocco that specifically serves the city of Casablanca. Originally named Berrechid Airfield, it was built by the United States in 1943 and served as an auxiliary airfield. Although the United States temporarily handed ownership of the airport to Morocco at the end of the Second World War, the North African country didn't fully take ownership until 1959.

7. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

Established in 1962, the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is the main international airport in Ethiopia. It replaced the now decommissioned military airport Lidetta and has since undergone some major expansion works, including the ongoing expansion of its passenger terminal.

8. Kigali International Airport - Rwanda

According to records, the airport was designed to handle about 400, 000 passengers per annum. However, as of 2013, more than 600,000 passengers had been recorded for both local and international travels. This prompted plans to expand the passenger terminals, even as efforts to build a new international airport are underway.

9. Port Elizabeth International Airport – South Africa

This is yet another South African airport, which serves the city of Port Elizabeth. Also known as the Chief Dawid Stuurman International Airport, it was established in 1929. Its facilities have since undergone major re-constructions in order to fit into the modern era.

10. Bram Fischer International Airport- South Africa

It is the primary airport in the city of Bloemfontein, one of South Africa's three capital cities. Formerly known as Bloemfontein Airport, its name was changed in November 2012 during a ceremony presided over by South Africa's former President Jacob Zuma.

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