Kenyan’s national carrier, Kenya airways said on Thursday it registered a 15.4 per cent increase in passenger numbers for its third quarter with 956,742 passengers using the airline compared to the same period last year.
The airline said in a statement released in Nairobi that its capacity in the domestic front and to Europe registered the largest increases growing by 16.9 per cent and 14.7 per cent respectively.
"The European region registered the highest growth of 14.7 percent largely due to introduction of flights to Rome and double daily weekend flights to London," Kenya Airways said.
"The total passenger tally at 956,742, indicate a growth of 15.4 per cent over prior year.
"The achieved system wide average cabin factor of 72.0 percent was better than 69.8 per cent realised last year," Kenya Airways said.
The airline, one of the most successful airlines in Africa after South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines carried 502,435 passengers within Africa but excluding Kenya posting a growth of 14.1 per cent compared to last year’s 3.9 per cent growth.
"Passengers uplifted within Kenya at 205,654 showed a 26.0 percent growth.
"The resulting cabin factor of 74.6 per cent was above 70.3 percent realised last year.
"Cargo tonnage at 16,131 increased by 6.2 per cent compared to last year’s level indicating improved sales," it said.
Passenger traffic in the Middle East, Far East and India regions reached 131,126 showing an increase of 6.8 percent and also realized cabin factor of 75.4 percent which was marginally below prior year.
Kenya airways registered a stronger Q3 ending December 2011 putting in capacity totalling 3,560m seat kilometres as a result of increases in frequencies to several routes following the purchase of new jets as well as new destinations.
Northern Africa region capacity rose slightly by 1.9 per cent due to the introduction of double dailies to Juba in Southern Sudan on the Embraer aircraft to meet the rising demand for business travellers.
"Capacity availed into the East African region shrunk by 14.2 per cent compared to last year largely as a result of operating combined flights to Kigali and Bujumbura as opposed to direct flights evidenced last year," it said.
Central Africa region’s capacity declined by 15.5 per cent mainly due to reduced demand as a result of cancelling combined flights to Malabo via Douala and Kisangani via Entebbe.
The airline said the introduction of Nampula in December 2010 and increased frequencies to Maputo via Harare and to Lubumbashi via Ndola boosted Southern Africa capacity by 16.9 per cent while West Africa capacity grew by 4.0 per cent mainly from increased operations on Bamako Dakar and Yaounde.