South Africa opens new airport

May 1, 2010
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, JOHANNESBURG, May 1 – South Africa\’s third largest airport situated in the port city of Durban opened for commercial flights on Saturday, the airports authority said.

"All flights so far from the initial 06h30 have gone off with no untoward incidents," Terence Delomoney, Airports Company South Africa\’s general manager at the new King Shaka International airport said in a statement.

"All operations are well underway and all efforts are being made to ensure minimal disruptions and inconveniences to all users.

The airport, 35 kilometres north of Durban, was built at a cost of 7.2 billion South African rand and replaced the Durban International Airport which ceased operations on Friday.

It was named after South African historical and cultural icon, the Zulu king Shaka.

The new airport is the first to be built in more than two decades. It is expected to cater for 7.5 million passengers per year in comparison with its predecessor\’s capacity for 4.5 million passengers.

The airport is expected to ease transportation during the soccer World Cup when the country expects an influx of visitors to the month-long tournament.

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