Durban’s King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) had more than 11% growth in the number of international passengers arriving and departing in December, compared with December 2018.

KSIA Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs, Colin Naidoo, said most airlines operated at nearly full capacity during this period, with both international and local tourists travelling to Durban. “The growth in passenger numbers reflects not only the increasing attractiveness of KwaZulu Natal as a tourist destination, but that flying directly to their destination has become more affordable and convenient for more visitors.”

Naidoo said the airport had the highest passenger volumes for the first time in its history, ofwhich 93% of total pax were domestic travellers with the number of international visitors arriving and departing through KSIA increasing to more than 43 000 during December 2019.

He said the growth in international traffic was the result of several international airlines operating direct routes to Durban from major cities such as London and Dubai. It also indicated that the domestic airlines were at capacity, ensuring passengers had more choices to local destinations.

“There is increasing competition among international airlines for direct routes and we are doing our best to attract new airlines and to benefit from this,” said Naidoo.

The increasing passenger numbers during the busy peak season month puts KSIA on track to grow its total passenger numbers to more than six million a year by the end of March this year.

KSIA won the best regional airport in Africa in the Skytrax World Airport Awards in 2019.