Cape Town is one of the southern-most major cities on the globe, so for we denizens of the Northern Hemisphere it can appear deceptively inaccessible. But because of its status as both a top business destination and Africa’s most popular tourist town, it actually enjoys a thriving air service.
Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is located just 12 miles from the city center and is the country’s second busiest airport after Johannesburg and the third busiest in Africa. In 2012, Airports Company South Africa, the airport’s operator, reported that the airport handled 8.6 million passengers, a 4.6 percent increase over the previous year. According to Flightstats (flightstats.com) the airport enjoys an 88 percent overall ontime performance record.
CPT’s schedule includes domestic service to every major city in South Africa, including frequent service to Johannesburg and Durban, and direct flights to far-flung international destinations such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dubai. Other long-haul services to North America and Asia connect through the South African Airways hub in Johannesburg. The JNB – CPT route carried 4.5 million passengers in 2011, making it the ninth busiest city pair in the world.
Thanks to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa is now easier to get to and work in than ever before. Since 2004, the country has invested $1.8 billion in road work, airport upgrades and highway expansions, and an additional $40 million in telecommunications improvements. A major beneficiary of all the investment was Cape Town International. The split-level Central Terminal Building has departures located on upper floors and arrivals in lower floors.
The Transport Plaza and Car Rental Facility is located in front of the Central Terminal where buses, taxis and cars are available. Both the domestic and international departure areas feature a Premier Lounge, available at a fee to any passenger regardless of airline or ticket class.