Durban's King Shaka International Airport, at La Mercy, on the north coast, became operational in 2010 and is three times the size of the old airport. About 17 km (11 miles) from Umhlanga and about 32 km (20 miles) north of Durban, it operates under the management of the Airports Company South Africa.
South African Airways (SAA) flies to Durban via Johannesburg. Domestic airlines serving Durban are SAA, BA/Comair, Kulula, SA Express, SA Airlink, and Mango. Perhaps the easiest way to book a ticket to or from Durban is online. Kulula and Mango are the budget-priced airlines, so expect to buy your own snacks and drinks on board. SAA is usually the more expensive option, unless you're looking for a ticket at short notice (next day or two), when it may turn out to offer the lowest price.
The most inexpensive ground transfer into Durban and back is the Airport Shuttle Service, which costs R70 and departs every 30 to 45 minutes after incoming flights arrive and leaves the city center every hour. Its drop-off points are flexible within the city and include all hotels on the North Beach and South Beach, the Central Business District, the International Convention Centre, and the Moses Mabhida Stadium. On request, the driver is likely to drop you anywhere en route. Call ahead and the bus will pick you up at any hotel in the city; there's no need to reserve for the trip into Durban. A taxi ride into Durban will cost around R4450. If you plan to go farther afield, call Magic Transfers or catch a cab from outside the terminal building.
Airports Company South Africa. 011/921–6262; www.acsa.co.za.
King Shaka International Airport. 011/921–6262; kingshakainternational.co.za.