World Travel Awards: Cape Town International lands Africa's top airport award for a second time

2018-10-08 10:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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The best in Africa's travel industry was honoured at the 25th World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean on Saturday in Durban, and South Africa took home a few accolades, including Cape Town International Airport (CTIA) named as Africa's Leading Airport for 2018.

This is the second year that the Mother City's airport received the accolade, as the airport is getting ready for summer's peak season that starts in October. Cape Town International has already welcomed Edelweiss which connects the city to Zurich, Condor which connects the city to Frankfurt and Lufthansa with its Munich-to-Cape Town frequencies in operation.

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“Cape Town International Airport is honoured to once again receive this very important accolade. Being named Africa’s Leading Airport for the second year is extremely gratifying and reinforces the hard work and commitment to excellence demonstrated at this airport in the past 12 months,” said the airport's senior manager of corporate affairs Deidre Davids.

The winners of the World Travel Awards are voted for by industry professionals and travellers from around the world, and it seeks to celebrate all the sectors of the global industry.

Both Cape Town and OR Tambo International Airport have also been nominated in the global category for World' Leading Airport, which will be announced at the World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala on 1 December in Lisbon, Portugal.

CTIA showed a 5.3% increase in passengers in 2017, with a double-digit growth for international passengers over the last few years. In 2016, CTIA pushed past the 10 million passengers mark in December 2016, and repeated it in 2017.

“We are anticipating yet another bumper peak season in Cape Town and our team is prepped and ready to welcome all of our visitors to the fairest Cape and to facilitate their movement through the airport en route to their holiday destinations,” says Davids.

ALSO SEE: Cape Town International name change: These are the frontrunner names

Ethiopian Airlines took home the award for Leading African Airline, as well as Leading Airline Brand, while Kenya Airways took home both awards for leading Business Class and leading Economy Class. Regional carrier fastjet won Leading Low-Cost Airline, while the only South African airline was SAA's Sawubona for Leading Inflight Magazine. 

Future of CTIA

The airport might see these numbers get boosted again when the ongoing upgrades and expansions happening at the airport are completed. These include a new, realigned runway, due to be completed by December 2021; a new domestic terminal projected to be completed in April 2020; and new boarding gates and an international departure lounge will be added which are expected to be concluded in June 2019.

Another major change at the airport will also be its name, one of four in South Africa. Airport management already completed the public commentary phase in June 2018, but no name has been officially chosen yet nor a date given on when this name change will take place.

According to social media, the frontrunners for the CTIA name change are Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Robert Sobukwe, Albertina Sisulu, Krotoa and Sara Baartman.

SEE: Cape Town Air Access celebrates 13 new routes and 14 expansions since 2015

Here are the airport winners from World Travel Awards according to region:

Indian Ocean

Velana International Airport, Maldives


Singapore Changi Airport 


Sydney Airport, Australia 

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Sangster International Airport, Jamaica

Mexico and Central America

Cancun International Airport, Mexico


Zurich Airport, Switzerland

SEE: #AfriTravel: More flights between Zurich and Cape Town with Edelweiss Air

Middle East

Dubai International Airport 

North America

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, US

South America

Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito, Ecuador 

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