Kenya Airways posted a strong performance in the third quarter of 2016 recording a 4.8 per cent growth on passenger numbers, boosted by a strong presence in the African market.
The airline yesterday reported that passengers uplifted between October and December stood at 1.12 million, achieving a cabin factor of 72 per cent compared to 68 per cent during the same period last year.
Passenger numbers in Africa, excluding Kenya, continued to grow. Passengers uplifted stood at 530,842, a 5.2 per cent growth, during the quarter compared to same period the prior year.
In Kenya, passenger uplift grew to 347,136, a 10.3 per cent increase, driving cabin factor up by 3.3 per cent to 79.0 per cent,” outgoing CEO Mbuvi Ngunze and chairman Michael Joseph led said in a report.
The Kenya Airways third quarter operating results ended 31 December shows capacity offered to Northern Africa region grew by 9.6 per cent compared to prior year driven by increased frequencies to Addis Ababa and Juba.
In East Africa, capacity grew by 7.1 per cent driven by more operations on the Boeing 737-800, which has a higher capacity and additional frequencies.
Capacity offered into West, South and Central African regions grew by 2.5 per cent compared to same period the previous year, after the introduction of the Nairobi-Entebbe-Bangui route, and the Nairobi-Doula-Bangui flights. The airline continued to invest in Africa, its mainstay.
The airline, however, suspended Gaborone and Abuja operations in November in an effort to optimise operations in Africa during the quarter.
“During this quarter, the airline continued its network optimisation, enhancing operations into the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro and to Capetown via Livingstone,” the report states.
The capacity offered into Europe, using the Boeing 787, remained largely at par with the prior year, it said.
However, the airline’s capacity into the Middle East, China and India declined as the airline deployed the Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft, as compared to the higher capacity Boeing 777-300 largely used in the previous year.
But additional frequencies offered by Jambojet in local routes of Ukunda, Malindi and Lamu caused capacity on the domestic front to grow by 1.5 per cent.
“During this quarter, the airline continued to operate a smaller fleet more efficiently as part of its recovery strategy,” the report reads in part.
The passenger uplift to Europe stood at 102,749, while those to the Middle East and Far East regions were 138,700.
However, cargo volumes declined by 11 per cent, which the management attributed to “reduced capacity in the network”.