, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 27 – National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has registered an increase in passenger numbers both in international and domestic routes between July and September 2011.
According to its operating results for the second quarter, the passengers airlifted to Europe increased by 11 percent to 158,247 compared to the corresponding period last year.
This, the airline said, was on the back of an 8.6 percent capacity growth which in turn resulted in an 83.3 percent seat occupancy level.
“Capacity offered into Europe registered an 8.6 percent growth compared to the same quarter of prior year as a result of introducing direct flights to Rome and operating double daily weekend flights on London route,” the carrier explained in a statement.
In the Middle East, Far East and India regions, passenger traffic also improved by 18.7 percent to 133,833 against a capacity growth of 9.7 percent. Bombay registered the highest growth in these regions at 26.4 percent, a scenario that was attributed to the deployment of a Boeing 777 in July and August 2011.
The same improvement was recorded within Africa with a total of 509,570 travellers uplifted within that period.
The introduction of additional frequencies in the Northern Africa region to meet demand for business travellers especially in the Juba in Southern Sudan route accounted for the 8.1 percent growth in capacity.
The increased frequencies to Bangui, Libreville via Douala and Brazzaville route connecting through Kinshasa also saw the capacity offered in the Central Africa region grow by 5.4 percent.
“Capacity in Southern Africa grew by 5.4 percent due to introduction of Nampula in December 2010 and increased frequencies to Harare and Maputo. West Africa capacity grew by 8.6 percent mainly from increased operations on Bamako Dakar and the introduction of Ouagadougou and N’Djamena via Cotonou,” the airline added.
However, the cancellation of night flights to Zanzibar as a result of low demand and operating combined flights to Bujumbura and Kigali as opposed to direct flights evidenced last year did affect the capacity made available in the East African region shrinking 13.3 percent compared to last year due.
Locally, passengers ferried within Kenya grew by an impressive 42 percent to 202,826 with a cabin factor of 74 percent achieved.
Capacity grew by 35.4 percent largely due to the introduction of the Mombasa shuttle from November 2010 averaging 10 daily flights and the re-introduction of Malindi flights.
Kisumu saw a 28.6 percent growth in capacity through increased frequencies with an average of 20 flights operating per week.
The improved performance was also replicated in the cargo business which recorded a 13.5 growth in tonnage compared to last year’s level emphasising an ‘improved business environment and increased sales efforts’.