Kenya had the highest increase of airline traffic in Africa over the last one year, following a flurry of major conferences hosted in the country and a recovering tourism sector. Kenya records largest rise in air transport By Frankline Sunday Updated Fri, September 23rd 2016 at 15:02 GMT +3 SHARE THIS ARTICLE Kenya had the highest increase of airline traffic in Africa over the last one year, following a flurry of major conferences hosted in the country and a recovering tourism sector. According to data from an industry research into air travel across the African continent, the number of passenger arrivals to the country since January has gone up 14.9 per cent compared to a similar period last year. “2016 has seen a good recovery in international air travel into and within Africa from the prolonged Ebola outbreak, which lasted from mid-2014 throughout 2015,” reads the report. Mauritius and South Africa saw their airline traffic grow by 11.6 and 11.4 per cent, respectively, in a year that East Africa enjoyed relatively higher airline traffic compared to other regional blocs. “We are seeing a tale of two Africas, with North African countries suffering from political instability and terror activities and Sub-Saharan African countries powering ahead,” said Olivier Jager, the CEO of Forward Keys, a travel intelligence firm. The firm compared airline traffic across Africa by looking at the number of arrivals of airline passengers, the number of bookings and the number of scheduled commercial flights between airports within the continent.
Kenya has in the last year played host to several high profile conferences, including the Tokyo International Conference for Development (Ticad) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial heads summit that have brought thousands of international delegates to the country. South Africa retained its dominant share of the market, taking up 13 per cent of the international arrivals into the continent. Egypt, Morocco and Mauritius accounted for nine, eight and five per cent, respectively. Kenya, Algeria and Tunisia all constituted four per cent of the market, while Tanzania and Ethiopia each took three per cent. The level of intra-African air traffic was however flagged as too low, with the large majority of traffic coming from the long haul markets like Europe and the Americas. Traffic from Germany into the EAC increased by 33 per cent, with arrivals from India, the United Arab Emirates and the US going up by 25, 15 and 16 per cent, respectively. In comparison, traffic from Kenya and Uganda into the EAC went down by 3.2 and 0.4 per cent, respectively. Forward Keys states that the outlook for the future is promising, as the peak tourism period begins, with Kenya expected to welcome 23 per cent more arrivals this year compared to a similar period last year.