Johannesburg Airport Passenger Stats - Decline by 18% in July 2023

Johannesburg Airport, a prominent hub for air travel in South Africa, has experienced a significant decline in passenger numbers. According to available records, there was an 18.11% decrease in passenger figures in July 2023 compared to the pre-pandemic year of July 2019.

To put this into perspective, in July 2019, the airport served 1,838,416 passengers, while in July 2023, this number dropped to 1,505,461 passengers, representing a decline in the number of passengers, which can be ascribed to a multitude of factors, including but not limited to changes in travel routines, worldwide occurrences, or alterations in tourism patterns.

One primary factor contributing to the decline in passenger numbers at Johannesburg Airport is the lingering impact of the global pandemic. The pandemic, which first hit South Africa several months before the announcement to reopen borders for international travel, left a lasting impression on potential travelers. The uncertainty surrounding safety and the risk of infection may have made individuals hesitant to embark on journeys, even with the reopening of borders.

Another significant influence on the drop in passenger volumes at the airport relates to the ongoing pandemic. Despite reopening borders, concerns about the virus and its transmission remained prevalent. Travelers, particularly those accompanied by vulnerable family members, such as young children or elderly relatives, may have been more cautious in their decision to travel, leading to decreased passenger numbers.

The perception that South Africa is still a risky destination contributes to the decline in passenger figures at Johannesburg Airport. Media coverage frequently highlighted the high number of cases and deaths related to the pandemic in the country. This continuous exposure reinforced the perception among potential travelers that South Africa carries a higher risk than other destinations, thereby dissuading them from choosing it as their travel hub.

In addition, competition from other destinations has played a crucial role in decreasing passenger numbers at Johannesburg Airport. Several countries, recognizing the importance of tourism for their economies, actively marketed themselves as safe and desirable alternatives. The allure of these destinations may have enticed potential visitors away from South Africa, resulting in reduced passenger traffic at the airport.

It is important to note that the decline in tourism and airport passenger numbers cannot be solely attributed to the government's reopening announcement. The global tourism industry as a whole is still in the process of recovering from the pandemic, with many countries imposing travel restrictions. These factors, coupled with the concerns specific to South Africa, have collectively contributed to the decrease in tourism in the country.

The slump in passenger numbers at Johannesburg Airport can be attributed to various factors. The timing of the announcement, the ongoing global pandemic, the perception of South Africa as a risky destination, and competition from other destinations have all played a role in the decrease in tourism and airport passenger numbers.

As the world continues to navigate the effects of the pandemic, it remains crucial for airports and tourist destinations to adapt strategies to rebuild traveler confidence and attract visitors again.

Need Airport Transfers?
See our best
Value Options
View Offers

Useful Information about Johannesburg Airport

Johannesburg Airport Passenger Traffic Rebounds in Q3 2023, Up 17% Year-over-Year

Johannesburg Airport Passenger Traffic Soars 16.85% in Q3 2023, Showing Signs of Recovery from Pandemic

Lounges at Johannesburg Airport

See all the airport lounges, locations and opening times available at Johannesburg Airport

Eating and Drinking at Johannesburg Airport

See all bars and restaurants at Johannesburg Airport, including locations and if they are before or after check-in

Duty Free Shopping at Johannesburg Airport

See all shops available at Johannesburg Airport - plan your duty free shopping in advance