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Air traffic between Kenya, SA rises

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – The leisure and business segments have contributed the most for international travel between South Africa and Kenya.

South African Airlines Country Manager, Jane Ngaira said the growth was largely helped by the 2010 World Cup where South Africa recorded a large influx of tourists to the country with Kenya being the destination of choice before proceeding to SA.

"We had tourists from America who wanted to do South Africa and Kenya. Those were numbers that we were getting from the Americas. We were also getting numbers from the Far East. Generally larger numbers come from Johannesburg and Nairobi. Around 60percent (seating space) on the flight is shared between the two countries," she said.

Ms Ngaira, who was speaking during the arrival of the airline\’s new Airbus A340-200 and the A340-300 which will ply the Johannesburg-Nairobi route, said the airline\’s load capacity had risen to 80 percent of passengers being reached to and from SA.

"We have seen a lot of growth and we have seen a lot of interest of Kenyans going to South Africa. I think the World Cup was an eye opener, and we are definitely seeing a lot of people appreciating the route and doing repeat travel again. We can comfortable say we now we have load factors," Ms Ngaira  said.

South African Airways produced a net profit of approximately Sh5 billion for the year ending March 2009 due to fundamental restructuring in the organisation.

The results were achieved despite the industry having entered into a cyclical downturn in mid 2008.

The airline offers one daily flight to Johannesburg and is part of the Star Alliance which is the largest International airline network. SAA has been in operation for the last 75 years.

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