NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5- National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) recorded a 9.3 percent increase in passenger numbers within Africa and in Middle, Far East and Asia regions to 421,949 and 120,577 respectively for the third quarter ended December 31, 2009.
Passengers uplifted within Kenya however fell to 133,301 compared to the previous year due to the suspension of the services to other towns besides Mombasa.
“Capacity offered in the domestic market reduced by five percent despite the eight percent growth in Mombasa, because of the suspended operations of Lamu and Malindi, coupled with the temporary closure of Kisumu Airport due to repairs of the runway until early December 2009,” said a statement from KQ.
The growth into the East African region however remained impressive at 20 percent arising from increased operations into Bujumbura, Kigali, Seychelles, Dzaoudzi and Moroni.
Increased frequencies to Khartoum and Cairo on the larger Boeing 737-800 and additional services into Djibouti via Addis Ababa also helped to boost capacity growth on the Northern Africa region.
The airline however said that passenger numbers to Europe remained flat at 97,252 which was partly due to a three percent reduction in the capacity offered in Europe due to the effects of the global economic crisis on the aviation industry.
The reduction was however mitigated by additional frequencies mounted to Charles de Gaulle in order to take advantage of our expanded network into the Francophone Africa.
Despite the tactical cut-backs employed on many routes, the cargo business however showed signs of recovery from the unprecedented declines witnessed in the previous quarters to record a nine percent growth from prior year’s level of 14,006 tons.
“The network average cabin factor at 67.4 percent was lower than 69.6 percent obtained last year because of the slow uptake of extra capacity arising from entry into new markets as well as the recession in the airline industry,” the airline added.