Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport has topped the list of the fastest-growing major airports in Africa by capacity, a new study by Routesonline has found, as airlines continue to return to the Egyptian Red Sea resort.
The latest figures revealed that the airport, which is the third busiest in Egypt, has increased its capacity by 28.9 percent in 2019 to 1.49 million available departure seats, compared to 1.16 million departure seats in 2018.
Number three on the top 10 list is Hurghada airport, which recorded a growth rate of 11.9 percent in 2019.
At number two is the international airport in Marrakech, western Morocco. A total of 3.91 million departure seats are on offer this year at Marrakech airport, with a rise of 22.6 percent from the previous 12 months, the study said.
Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport’s growth comes as the destination continues to recover from the slump in tourism that followed the crash of Metrojet flight 9268 in the Sinai desert after take-off from Sharm El-Sheikh airport on 31 October 2015. All 224 passengers and crew on the charter flight to St Petersburg died, according to the study.
Since the crash, which was likely caused by a bomb on board the Airbus A321 aircraft, security procedures have been tightened at the Egyptian airport. In October 2019, the UK government lifted its four-year ban on air travel to the Red Sea resort, paving the way for direct air services to resume.
Routesonline is focused entirely on aviation route development and the company's portfolio includes events, media and online businesses.
The company organises and operates world-renowned airline and airport networking events through its regional and World Route Development Forums. They are held in key markets throughout the year in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Top 10 fastest-growing airports in Africa by departure seats (2018 vs 2019):