When tourists venture out to different countries and visit the airports, they always get surprised by how fluid the airports have become. Many countries took advantage of the delays caused by the pandemic to freshen up their facilities, refurbishing lounges and extending common areas to create greater social distance. Some have undergone substantial changes as starchitects worked their magic, transforming them into bright and spacious airports with amenities ranging from spas and yoga rooms to beautiful outdoor gardens and swimming pools. These unique features have earned their work the title of Best International Airport.
Over the last year, tourists have spent less time in the air, but their enthusiasm for flying — which begins with a world-class ground experience — hasn’t diminished. Many of the top facilities received greater rankings this year than in 2020 as travellers recall the superb service, delicious meals, and flawless connections they received at some of the world’s best airports. Please continue reading to find out which international airports made our top ten list.
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1. Cape Town International Airport, South Africa
Nominated ten times as the Best International Airport in Africa by Skytrax, Cape Town international airport is one of Africa’s most significant and busiest airports. It is approximately 12 miles away from the city centre. The airport boasts five terminals. It also has two hotels within its boundaries. This makes it a favourable airport in South Africa. Cape Town airport also provides cargo facilities to Johannesburg. Ever since it became operational in 1954, it is always going through an upgrade.
2. King Shaka International Airport, South Africa
King Shaka International Airport in Durban is three times bigger than Durban International Airport. Therefore it can host many facilities such as banks, accommodation, a post office, shops, restaurants, etc. Since it opened in 2010, this airport has connected important cities in South Africa to the Middle East. It has a massive runway of 3,700m × 60m. It offers top-notch facilities to visitors.
3. Johannesburg Airport / O.R. Tambo, Johannesburg
Also known as O.R. Tambo airport and the “Hub for South African Airways”, JBT is the second busiest airport in South Africa. The headquarters of South African Airways is also situated” in the”airport. Over 20 million passengers use JBT airport each year.
There are six terminals in the airport linked by a central terminal. Airways Park is one of the features of JBT. Lanseria Airport and O.R. Tombo airport are the two international airports in Johannesburg. About 650000 tons of cargo are dispatched from this airport. It has one of the longest runways in the world (4400 meters). This airport connects with other areas through railroad train and road services.
4. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, Mauritius
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is the primary international airport in Mauritius. It is located 48 km southeast of the capital city and hosts Air Mauritius. It was earlier known as the Plaisance Airport. The design and infrastructure are environmentally friendly. Moreover, solar energy, rainwater collection, natural theme and thermo-insulated facades for cooler temperatures are a few features. It can host more than 4 million travellers. The infrastructure, services and technology make it one of the best international airports in Africa.
5. Marrakesh Menara Airport, Morocco
The international airport is in the capital city of Morocco. Marrakesh is an attractive tourist destination, with more than 6 million passengers using this airport in 2019. It was once a military airport during World War ll, where the U.S. air force used it as a stopover, so it has massive aircraft parking spaces. It is the home to Air Arabia Maroc – a Moroccan joint venture with Air Arabia. The two passenger terminals can handle millions of passengers. The airport is also close to famous places like Bahia Palace, Koutoubia, Jemaa el-Fnaa Square, and some popular markets.
6. Mohammed V International Airport, Casablanca
This top unique international airport is in the Nouaceur Province of Morocco. It runs under ONDA. Mohammed V terminal is a hub for Air Arabia Maroc, Royal Air Maroc and Royal Air Maroc express. Morocco’s busiest airport, serving over 10 million passengers in 2019. This airport is the gateway to the most popular tourist spots around the country, so it is the busiest airport in Morocco and the fourth busiest airport in Africa.
7. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Ethiopia
Located in the Bole district of Ethiopia, it is 6 km from the city centre. Initially, it was Haile Selassie International Airport and home to Ethiopian Airlines, the national carrier. Bigger aircrafts such as Boeing 747 and Airbus A340 also take off here. High-tech security and baggage handling systems are the main features of this airport. The international passenger terminal is one of the biggest in Africa.
8. Kigali International Airport, Rwanda
Kigali International Airport is in the capital of Rwanda. Since Rwanda is landlocked, the airport bears massive responsibilities in keeping the country connected to the rest of the world. It was once Kanombe International Airport. The three terminals of Kigali meet the growing needs of travel. It is one of the best in Africa in adherence to International Aviation Organization standards. RwandAir, the national airline, does domestic flights.
9. Port Elizabeth International Airport, South Africa
This South African airport is one of the best in Africa. The first take-offs date back to the late 1910s. It is on the list of Africa’s top unique international airports first because it takes less than 10 minutes to reach prominent parts of the city; hence, it is called the “Ten Minute Airport”. Hotels, shops, restaurants and travel options ensure many tourists use this airport. It has several restaurants and a chain of local taxis for easy transport.
10. Bram Fischer Airport, Bloemfontein
Bram Fischer International airport makes it to the list of Africa’s top unique international airports because it features a Business lounge, conference rooms and ATMs. Alongside other tourist spots, travellers come to Bloemfontein for its greenery, historical monuments, war museums, the astronomical research centre, and botanical gardens are a few kilometres away from this airport.