Durban - Passenger volumes at King Shaka International Airport have shrunk in the past few months.
IOL reports that the tally from April last year to the beginning of this year is 3 547 734.
To make up the numbers of the previous financial year, ending at the beginning of April 2011, the airport would have to get a further 1 492 360 passengers passing through before the end of the month.
The Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) puts the shrinking numbers down to the liquidation of Velvet Sky and 1Time airlines, high fuel costs and a decrease in leisure travel.
Airport spokesperson Colin Naidoo said that aircraft fuel was the largest component of an airline's expenses and that the price had gone up to R1 056 a barrel over the past year.
"Other operational costs such as labour have increased above inflation," he added.
The airport will be three years old in May.