More than 40-million passengers were processed through Airports Company South Africa’s nine airports for the first time in the financial year to the end of March 2018.

This is according to the Aviation Barometer, a quarterly indicator of passenger traffic through Airports Company South Africa’s network of nine airports.

The 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.

OR 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.

Domestic arrivals experienced an increase of 79 540 passengers, a 2,36% increase from the previous year, and domestic departures increased by 91 499, a 2,7% 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; and international departures rose by 2,1%, with an increase of 30 850 passengers, totalling 1 496 737 passengers.

For Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, regional arrivals decreased by 1,55% to 119 602 passengers, while regional departures decreased by 1,03% to 122 135 passengers.