The Travellers Who Want Airports To Be Not Just Airports

Posted by Patrick Gaincko | August 7, 2015
add chinese shoppers 2-1

 

A sizeable number of medium- and large scale airports with a coastal or central geography in Africa claim to be the “gateway” to the Continent. In reality, very few can match the magnetism of Addis Ababa International Airport (ADD) or Cairo International Airport (CAI). They are truly the places where Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia converge in a frenetic fashion, with huge passenger numbers. To many aviation industry observers and insiders, these airports’ inexorable transformation comes out sometimes as a surprise.

In recent years, at several African airports, the passenger traffic not only grew at a faster rate but also shifted to a certain degree of sophistication. The massive Chinese contingent no longer comprises solely of male construction workers. Its ranks now also count investors, government officials, mid- and senior level professionals in consumer goods, retail, infrastructure, transport, energy and mining sectors. Couples are also coming.

Simi…