There are several airports in Cape Verde, of which four are international airports, three are domestic airports, and another three are unfortunately closed. Some of them are modern objects, sometimes even stylized as defensive structures.
However, the smaller ones look more like extended gas stations.
The establishment of these airports was naturally associated with the need for communication and transport between the islands. In addition to numerous maritime connections, each of the Cape Verde Islands (except Brava and Santo Antao) has a domestic airport that provides fast communication between them.
Airports in Cape Verde
International Airport Amílcara Cabrala (IATA: SID, ICAO: GVAC) – is an airport located on the island of Sal, about two kilometers southwest of the city of Espargos.
This is one of the most important airports in Cape Verde.
It bears the name of Amílcar Cabral – an engineer and political activist from Portuguese Guinea. The airport on the island of Sal was the first and only international airport in Cape Verde until 2005. Established in 1939 as a transit place for flights between Europe and South America.
Interestingly, it was built on the initiative of the Mussolini government, although it became a real far-reaching airport only after it was taken over by the Portuguese government in 1949.
See on the map where the airport does Amílcara Cabral lie:
Airport Amilcara Cabrala has one terminal and its runway length is 3270 meters. Compared to other airports, it is quite a large, and above all modern, two-story facility. In addition to check-in desks, there are also duty-free shops, food outlets and banking services. However, on the first floor there are airlines and airport service offices.
Over the past few years it has been the busiest port in the country when it comes to international flights. Most passengers come here from Germany, as well as Lisbon, London, Amsterdam and Paris. Sal airport is the main hub for TACV Cabo Verde Airlines. In addition, it operates such airlines as: Air Senegal, ASL Airlines France, Binter CV, Cabo Verde Airlines, Enter Air, Neos, Novair, Royal Air Maroc, TAP Portugal, TAAG Angola Airlines, TUI Airways, TUI fly Belgium and TUI fly Nordic . The lion’s share of them are seasonal charters.
Transfer from the airport to nearby towns takes respectively – 5 minutes to Espargos and about 20 minutes to Santa Maria. Taxi rank as well as other private transport for rent is located by the airport.
Praia Airport (IATA: RAI, ICAO: GVNP) – is an international airport located on the island of Santiago, two kilometers east of the city of Praia. It was established only in 2005, in place of the old Francisco Mendes airport. This is the first airport built after the independence of the islands. The length of the runway is 2100 meters.
Although the Praia airport serves the largest city and the capital of Cape Verde and the entire island of Santiago, the airport on the island of Sal generates more passenger traffic. In 2017, over 660,000 travelers were served here, where in the same year at Amilcar Cabral Airport this number reached over a million.
In 2012, the Cape Verde government announced that Praia Airport would be named after Africa’s most famous icon of freedom – Nelson Mandela. However, this caused considerable controversy. In the summer of 2018, airport modernization was completed, including the construction of a new departure hall.
See on the map where the Praia airport is:
Praia Airport serves, among others, such airlines: Air Senegal, ASKY Airlines, Azores Airlines, Binter CV, Cabo Verde Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, TAP Air Portugal and TUI fly Netherlands.
See what landing at this airport looks like:
Rabil Airport (IATA: BVC, ICAO: GVBA) – an airport located on the island of Boa Vista, about five kilometers southeast of the city and the island’s capital – Sal Rei. This is the third airport in Cape Verde when it comes to passenger traffic. In 2017, it served over 500,000 travelers.
Rabil airport is an interesting object, because its block built of light bricks resembles one of the forts in the Sahara desert. In addition, due to the favorable climate of Cape Verde, part of the port is not roofed. Only because of the large amount of sun, it has hanging sheets of material, resembling a tent.
Did we mention that some airports in Cape Verde look like fortresses? See it for yourself!
The transformation of Rabil airport into an international airport began in 2005. The project was completed in 2007, where the runway was extended to 2100 meters for almost 21 million euros and widened from 30 to 45 meters. The official opening took place on October 31, the same year. As for the name of the Rabil airport, in November 2011 it was renamed the airport of Aristides Pereira – the first president of Cape Verde.
The airport serves, among others, airlines such as: TUI fly Nordic, TUI fly Belgium, Neos, TUI Airways, Luxair, Binter CV, TUI fly Netherlands, TAP Air Portugal, and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia. Some of them are seasonal charters.
See on the map where the Rabil airport is:
Sao Pedro Airport (IATA: VXE, ICAO: GVSV) – is the youngest airport of Cape Verde, located on the island of Sao Vicente, about five kilometers from the city of Mindelo and near the small town of Sao Pedro.
It was not until the end of 2009 that Sao Pedro airport became an international airport. It occupies the fourth place when it comes to passenger traffic on the islands. In 2017, over 260,000 travelers were served here.
Sao Pedro Airport was built in 1960, but its modernization began in 2005. The runway was extended to 1975 meters and widened to 45 meters. The current modern terminal has an area of 11,000 square meters and can handle up to 500 passengers per hour. In 2012, the airport adopted the name of the world-famous singer Cesaria Evory, from Cape Verde.
Sao Pedro airport is served by such airlines as: TAP Air Portugal, Binter Cabo Verde, TUI fly Netherlands, Cabo Verde Airlines and Cabo Verde Express.
See on the map where the airport is located:
Other Cape Verde airports
- Sao Filipe Airport (IATA: SFL, ICAO: GVSF) – an airport located on the island of Fogo, two kilometers from the city of Sao Filipe. Established in 1997 in place of the previous one. Used for domestic flights. In 2017, almost 73,000 passengers were checked-in. Airlines such as Binter CV, Cabo Verde Airlines and Cabo Verde Express arrive here.
- Preguiça Airport (IATA: SNE, ICAO: GVSN) – an airport located on the island of Sao Nicolau, three kilometers north of the village of Preguiça and three kilometers south of the island’s capital – Ribeira Brava. It serves as a domestic airport and serves two airlines – Binter CV and Cabo Verde Express. In 2017, over 27,000 passengers were checked in here. Interestingly, it is said to be the only airport where luggage is weighed on a traditional scale, and boarding passes are handwritten.
- Maio Airport (IATA: MMO, ICAO: GVMA) – an airport located on the island of Maio, three kilometers from the capital of the island of Porto Ingles. Of all the active airports of Cape Verde, there is the lowest passenger traffic. In 2017, barely 15,000 travelers were served here. Maio airport is used for domestic flights. It operates two local airlines: Binter CV and Cabo Verde Express.
Other airports are closed.
Flight from Europe to Cape Verde lasts, depending on the starting point, from about 7 to about 9 hours. Not every country had direct flights. You can find flights in Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, and above all London.
Look around for cheap flights and cheap tickets to Cape Verde. After some time here we will tell you where and how to look for cheap flights to Cape Verde. At the moment we refer you to the search engine of cheap flights and flight tickets to Cape Verde, which will certainly help you.
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