The African aviation market is set to increase by 200 million passengers, to over 356 million by 2038, this is according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) latest forecast. This was revealed at the 2019 Routes Africa forum

In Kenya, IATA predicts that over the next two decades, the Kenyan market could more than double in size, resulting in an additional 11.3 million passenger journeys, over 449,000 more jobs and a Ksh1.1 trillion boost to GDP by 2038.

A steady growth in trade and tourism has seen overall number of domestic and international departure seats increase by more than three quarters since 2010, this according to analysis by OAG Schedules Analyser data, one of the world’s leading provider of digital flight information and analytics.  Kenya’s domestic capacity has also risen from 1.95 million departure seats in 2010 to 5.18 million this year.

Through the Routes Africa 2019 forum themed ’Accessing Markets’, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) now hopes to encourage more international and regional domestic airlines to fly into Kenya.

KAA has invested in new and modern terminal buildings at the Malindi Airport located on the coast to the North East of Mombasa and Manda Airport serving the Lamu archipelago. Plans are in place to expand Diani Airport in the South Coast to attract bigger airlines and more tourists.

By encouraging new route development, KAA hopes to grow both passenger and cargo traffic at the JKIA, Mombasa International Airport (MIA), Kisumu International Airport (KIA) and the Eldoret International Airport (EIA), all of which are currently undergoing upgrades and infrastructural works.

The 12th edition of Routers Africa provided a convenient platform for decision makers to negotiate new air services, discuss existing routes and improve the continent’s air connectivity, while supporting growth in air services and stimulating economic development across the region.

Alex Gitari, Ag. Managing Director & Chief Executive, KAA, had this to say, “Over the last two years, we have been implementing an ambitious strategy to deal with one of the key challenges also facing the aviation sector in the continent namely, expansion and improvement of capacity at our main airports.” He also added that, the remodelling of the terminal separating arriving and departing passengers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has boosted airport security and has also raised the airport’s annual capacity, with 11.9 million passengers travelling through Kenya’s airports every year.