KENYA AIRWAYS BACK ON COURSE AS PASSENGER NUMBERS GROW BY NEARLY 5 PERCENT
(Posted 31st January 2017)
At the end of Quarter 3 of the current Financial Year, i.e. the end of December, did key indicators show significant improvements in Kenya Airways’ operating performance compared to the same period a year ago.
‘Operation Pride‘, an initiative to return the airline to profitability, has clearly shown results, again, as it did during the previous Q2 too.
- Capacity management remains tight for the period as planned
- Passenger numbers up 4.8%
- Cabin load factor up 4%
The airline put into the market place a total capacity of 3,553 million seat kilometres compared to 3,676 million offered in a similar period prior year, representing a 3.4% reduction year on year. During this quarter the airline continued its network optimisation, enhancing operations into the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro and to Capetown via Livingstone.
The capacity offered into Europe, using the Boeing 787, remained largely at par with the previous year. Capacity offered into the Middle East, China and India declined compared to same period the prior year as the airline deployed the Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft, as compared to the higher capacity Boeing 777-300 largely used in the previous year.
During the period the airline continued to invest in Africa, its most important market place.
Capacity offered to Northern Africa region grew by 9.6% compared to prior year driven by increased frequencies to Addis Ababa and Juba. In the East African region capacity grew by 7.1% driven by more operations on the Boeing 737-800, which has a higher capacity, and additional frequencies to key destinations.
Capacity offered into West, South and Central African regions grew by 2.5% compared to same period in the prior year with the introduction of the Nairobi-Entebbe-Bangui route, as well as the Nairobi-Douala-Bangui flight. The airline, however, suspended Gaborone and Abuja operations in November in an effort to optimise operations in Africa during the quarter.
During this quarter the airline continued to operate a smaller fleet more efficiently, as part of its recovery strategy. The total passengers uplifted by the more efficient airline stood at 1.12 million, representing a 4.8 % growth, achieving a cabin factor of 72% compared to 68% achieved during the same period last year.
Passenger traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometers at 2,556 million grew by 2.3% compared to the same quarter prior year.
The passenger uplift to Europe stood at 102,749, a growth of 2.8%, despite a 0.7% capacity decline, driving the seat occupancy level to a higher Cabin Factor of 83% compared to prior year’s 80%.
Despite a reduction of 15.6% in capacity, the uplifted passenger traffic at 138,700 in the Middle East and Far East regions showed a decline of 6.8% on prior year level, but an improvement of 5.3% from 65.9% to 71.2% cabin factor.
Passenger numbers in Africa, excluding Kenya, continued to grow. Passengers uplifted stood at 530,842, a 5.2% growth, during the quarter compared to same period the prior year. The achieved passenger Cabin Factor improved by 3.4% to 65.6% compared to prior year.
In Kenya, passenger uplift grew to 347,136, a 10.3% increase, driving Cabin Factor up by 3.3% to 79.0%
The reduced capacity in the network impacted cargo. Belly cargo available tonne kilometers (ATKs) declined by 11% while the revenue kilometres (RTKs) reduced by 6% compared to prior year due to a reduction in wide body capacity in line with the fleet rationalisation.
Kenya Airways in January celebrated 40 years of operations since it was launched in 1977 after the collapse of East African Airways.