According to the latest Aviation Barometer – a quarterly indicator of passenger traffic through Airports Company South Africa’s (Acsa) airports – more than 40 million passengers were processed through Acsa’s nine airports for the first time in the 2017/2018 financial year.
According to Acsa, the passenger figures gathered and provided are a year-on-year comparison, giving us a snapshot of the air travel trends. This will help various stakeholders to track the sector’s performance, and assess the impact of the macro and micro-economic factors of air traffic.

The 40-million figure was achieved in spite of more modest passenger figures for the months of January to March, which saw growth of 2.48% compared to the same period in 2017;

  • Cape Town International Airport continued to lure international travellers, experiencing a growth of almost 10% in the period from January to March;
  • King Shaka International Airport also continued to build its domestic passenger base, with a growth of 8.47% in the first three months of 2018;
  • King Shaka International Airport experienced the highest growth, with passenger numbers increasing by 7.7% to 5.64 million for the financial year;
  • Cape Town International Airport continued its strong performance in attracting international passengers and airlines, with a growth of 16% for the year;
  • O. R. Tambo International Airport remains Africa’s largest and busiest airport, with a total of 21.23 million passengers in the financial year;
  • The six regional airports saw total passenger growth of 3.78% in the year. George Airport was the standout performer with passenger growth of 8.5%, putting it over the 800,000 passenger mark for the first time.

Passenger stats summary


  • Domestic arrivals experienced an increase of 79,540 passengers, a 2.36% increase from the previous year;
  • Domestic departures increased by 91,499, a 2.70% increase from the same period last year.


  • International arrivals increased by 3.68%, which translates to an extra 53,394 passengers, bringing the total to 1,502,516 passengers;
  • International departures rose by 2.10%, with an increase of 30,850 passengers, totalling 1,496,737 passengers.

Regional (Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland):

  • Regional arrivals decreased by 1.55% to 119,602 passengers;
  • Regional departures decreased by 1.03% to 122,135 passengers.