One of the intra-African flight routes whose activity has already reached pre-Covid levels in advance of the holiday season in the fourth quarter of the year is Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
This indicates a recovering aviation industry even as African countries push for open skies through the Single African Air Transport Market (SAA-TM), to boost revenue and sustainability, and comes soon after the nation hosted the Africa Climate Change Summit at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
According to the African carriers Association (AFRAA), in August 2023, African carriers’ traffic had increased to 98.4% of that in 2019.
According to estimates, the domestic market share was 34%, the African market share was 29%, and the global market share was 37%.
“The total number of intercontinental routes operated by African airlines exceeded pre-Covid levels since October 2022. In some major airports (Johannesburg, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Lusaka, Cairo, Casablanca, Abidjan, and Lomé), intra- Africa connectivity has reached or exceeded pre- Covid level since December 2022,” AFRAA noted.
AFRAA does not publish air traffic statistics by nation, however data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates that visitor arrivals through JKIA reached 124,483 in June 2023 alone, an increase from 96,168 in October 2022 month over month.
One of the main regional airports, JKIA is where travelers connect for flights to the Middle East, the United States, or Britain.
After being renovated for one year to improve efficiency and improve traffic flow, JKIA’s terminals 1B and C now provide Kenya Airways (KQ) with a chance to profit from the booming travel and tourism industries. KQ’s passenger revenues increased by Sh29.9 billion over the past six months to June as more people traveled there—1.6 million more people than in the first half of 2022 2.3 million.
“For the first time in six years, we have made an operating profit, which is clearly a testament of the hard work we put in to turn around this airline. Operating results show the company is viable,” KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said last month.