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Regional travellers account for half of KQ’s passengers

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A KQ Dreamliner aircraft. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Latest African Airlines Association (AFRAA) annual report shows that out of a total 4.4 million passengers carried, 2.5 million were from the region. This is against 755, 000 domestic passengers and 1.2 million international passengers.
  • Ethiopian Airlines leads with the number of regional and international passengers at 2.1 million and 10.6 million respectively.
  • Some of the airlines with least domestic passengers include Air Madagascar and Nouvelair Tunisie, which both recorded zero passengers.

Regional passengers accounted for 55.2 percent of all Kenya Airways flights in 2019, an industry association report shows, highlighting struggles the national carrier faces in attracting domestic passengers.

Latest African Airlines Association (AFRAA) annual report shows that out of a total 4.4 million passengers carried, 2.5 million were from the region. This is against 755, 000 domestic passengers and 1.2 million international passengers.

Ethiopian Airlines leads with the number of regional and international passengers at 2.1 million and 10.6 million respectively.

Some of the airlines with least domestic passengers include Air Madagascar and Nouvelair Tunisie, which both recorded zero passengers.

The top five AFRAA airlines by passenger numbers are Ethiopian Airlines (12.6 million), Egyptair (8.96 million), Royal Air Maroc (7.5 million), Air Algerie (6.6 million) and Kenya Airways (4.4 million).

Kenya Airways is the third airline on the continent to record a 77 percent passenger load factor behind Nouvelair Tunisie with 82 percent and Air Mauritius with 79.4 percent.

“The poor performance usually registered in Africa in terms of load factor is due to the imbalance between capacity and demand, the lack of cooperation between airlines, the poor intra-African connectivity and the uncoordinated networks,” the 2020 AFRAA report shows.

The report further indicates that the national carrier transported 22, 001 tonnes of freight within the continent followed by Egyptair (9, 755 tonnes) and Roya Air Maroc (7, 353). But, it is dwarfed by the Ethiopian Airline in inter-continental freight at 458,789 tonnes against 40,195 tonnes.

Overall, the Ethiopian Airline leads with the most freight carried at 459,395 followed by EgyptAir (135,974) and Kenya Airways (63,261).

“In 2019, the challenging trade environment led to a contraction of freight volumes. However, at the very end of the year, the cargo demand rebounded slightly,” the report adds.

Cairo International Airport leads the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the amount of freight handled at 361,000 tonnes against 358,000 tonnes.

In terms of active aircrafts, Kenya Airways has 36, Ethiopia (126), EgyptAir (68) and Royal Air Maroc (61).

“Tassili Airlines (15), TAAG Angola (15), Air Mauritius (15), Air Peace (26) and Tunisair (29) are airlines with few aircrafts on their fleets on the continent,” it shows.

According to Boeing, 54 percent of the aircrafts in operation in Africa are made up of single aisle types.

Freighters represent 8 percent, wide body aircrafts 20 percent, and regional jets 18 percent.

This comes as the company projects approximately 2.4 percent of the new airplanes will be delivered to African airlines, while Asia Pacific will receive 40.4 percent of new deliveries.

The number of aircrafts in service will reach 48,400 airplanes by the year 2039.

“Over the 1,015 new aircrafts that will be delivered to African airlines over the next 20 years, 74.9 percent will be single-aisle airplanes, 21.7 percent will be widebody airplanes, regional jet will account for 3 percent and freighters for less than 1 percent,” it adds.

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