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Air Transport supports more than 400,000 jobs in Kenya – IATA

Spending by foreign tourists supports a further US $1.6 billion of the country’s GDP, totaling to US $3.2 billion or Sh332.5 billion/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 18 – A total of 410,000 jobs are supported by the air transport sector in Kenya and tourists arriving by air, a report by International Air Transport Association (IATA) reveals.

According to the report, the air transport industry, including airlines and its supply chain, are estimated to support Sh166.3 billion of GDP in Kenya. Spending by foreign tourists supports a further US $1.6 billion of the country’s GDP, totaling to US $3.2 billion or Sh332.5 billion.

In total, 4.6 percent of the country’s GDP is supported by inputs to the air transport sector and foreign tourists arriving by air.

Jobs-wise, airlines, airport operators, airport on-site restaurants, aircraft manufacturers and air navigation service providers employ 15,000 people in the country.

Additionally, by buying goods and services from local suppliers, the sector supports another 96,000 jobs.

The sector is also estimated to support a further 43,000 jobs through the wages it pays its employees, some or all of which are subsequently spent on consumer goods and services.

Foreign tourists arriving by air to Kenya, who spend their money in the local economy, are estimated to support an additional 257,000 jobs.

In total 410,000 jobs are supported by air transport and tourists arriving by air.

“Air transport has been a major driver in Kenya’s economy, boosting tourism, attracting regional headquarters of multinational companies and fostering trade, logistics and foreign investment in the country. With 4.8 million passengers arriving to Kenya’s airports every year and the country’s established position as the leading cargo hub for East Africa, there is good reason to be proud of all that aviation has achieved in the country,” said Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East & Africa.

The report predicts that the air transport market will grow by 249 percent in the next 20 years, under the current trends.

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This would result in an additional 11.8 million passenger journeys by 2037.

If met, this increased demand would support approximately US$11.3 billion of GDP and almost 859,000 jobs.

“However, while Kenya ranks globally in the top 10% of countries for visa openness, it remains in the bottom half for air transport infrastructure. To unlock the full social and economic benefits that aviation brings, Kenya needs to improve its infrastructure, open its skies, remain vigilant and firm on safety, while taking advantage of new technologies to improve efficiency and the passenger experience,” he added.

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