King Shaka International Airport recovering to pre-Covid levels

KSIA regional general manager Nkosinathi Myataza

KSIA regional general manager Nkosinathi Myataza at the media engagement. Picture: Nqobile Mbonambi African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 31, 2023


Durban - King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) in Durban says that though the Covid-19 pandemic caused a massive drop in the number of passengers, there are positive signs that the airport is recovering to pre-Covid levels.

The airport’s regional general manager, Nkosinathi Myataza, who addressed the media yesterday in uMhlanga, said that they were restoring direct international flights from the airport, and looking at ways to attract more airlines.

Myataza said that although the recovery has been slow, KSIA remains the third busiest airport in South Africa, with 4.3 million passengers passing through the key regional hub in the financial year 2022/23.

“While this is down from the 6.1 million passengers per year recorded pre-Covid-19, the airport has significantly recovered its pre-pandemic route network, but its overall traffic recovery remains heavily influenced by the performance of its domestic market.”

Myataza added that overall, the airport recovered to 68% of pre-Covid passengers throughout the financial year 2022/23, with domestic traffic contributing the most to its recovery.

In contrast, OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport have recovered 72% and 76% respectively.

“Durban’s beaches remain a vital part of KwaZulu-Natal’s tourism product, largely for the domestic market. The recent closure of beaches, among other socio-economic issues, resulted in an underwhelming performance in December.”

The KSIA traffic split by reasons for travel is still lagging compared to pre-pandemic levels, with 74% of the total traffic travelling for business purposes.

Myataza added that King Shaka would be working to add more direct international flights in the years to come, with plans afoot to add direct European and US flights.