Kenya Airways pushes Middle East plans

BELLY cargo has been steadily increasing on the Nairobi-Dubai (Kenya-UAE) route and now generates 12 per cent of Kenya Airways’ revenue.

The African carrier is looking to capitalise on this hike in activity to the Middle East as part of its 10-year growth plan.

“While we currently operate to Dubai, Muscat [Oman] and Jeddah [Saudi Arabia], future plans include launching services to Beirut [Lebanon], increasing frequency to Dubai to 14 [times] a week, and also looking at a few other cities in the Middle East,” Abraham Joseph, Kenya Airways regional manager for the Middle East and Pakistan, said.

Joseph added that the carrier expects to contribute a better share from the region over the next two to three years, and at present enjoys a healthy load factor of 85 per cent on the Kenya-UAE route.

Kenya’s half-year turnover reached 54.9 billion Kenyan shillings (US$627.8 million), a 33.3 per cent increase over the previous year’s 41.2 billion shillings ($471.3 million), resulting in a 2.034 billion shilling ($23.2 million) profit after tax compared to 1.436 billion shillings ($16.4 million) a year ago.

“There is considerable trade between the UAE and various countries in Africa, and Nairobi, being a prominent hub, plays an important role,” Joseph stated. “Oman has cultural and historical links with East Africa, because of which there is sufficient passenger and cargo traffic between the two countries.”

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