Kenya Airways, the national carrier of Kenya is modernizing its aircrafts and upgrading its facilities with the aim of boosting trade and connecting Africans with the world, according to reports.
On a recent tour of the Jomo Kenyatta Airport which was a scene of recent fire disaster on August 7 causing a temporary shutdown of operations, the Airport Manager, Edward Kobuthi told journalists from five African countries that the airport is functioning at full capacity, he encouraged passengers not to fear in coming to Nairobi.
Mr. Kobuthi described Nairobi as a great hub in East Africa and a gateway on the African continent. He said a significant portion of passengers who travel within Africa and beyond pass through Nairobi, confirming that last year Kenya Airways carried 3.6 million passengers and intends to carry 4.1 million passengers this year, noting that growth was well within reach as seen by the expansion.
He explained however that the government of Kenya was contributing and counting on the interdiction of direct flights to boost trade among African countries, adding that currently the airport is on the verge of modernizing, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport the airport chief said has significantly boosted its capacity to handle more travelers.
Speaking further, he said the regional hub was adding a new state-of-the-art terminal which was being constructed as part of the 2030 vision of Kenya which will be delinked from the current airport and was being built from scratch.
The Airport Manager told journalists that the new terminal will be the largest single terminal in Africa, built on four levels to handle up to 20 million passengers annually. Kenya Airways also plans to introduce the first ever Boeing 777-300 extended range, the first carrier in East Africa to fly the largest twin jet in the world.
Mr. Kobuthi said in coordination with the airport authority, the aircraft management was able to get facilities in place to usher passengers through the airport on transit and that even though operations in August was slightly down the airport was able to handle more passengers.
“There have been doubts by people in different markets on whether Nairobi is able to sustain and of course after the fire, things have not been hundred percent but importantly, changes have progressed and we have managed to restore the airport and look forward to our future plans, “ he said.
He disclosed that the Africa Exit Bank is providing some US$1.9 billion funding to the Airlines. The airline is currently flying in 45 destinations in Africa and will be the first to offer wi-fi internet access on board its aircraft soon and upon the completion of the work, the airport will be offering hotel services as well.
The Chief Operation Officer for KQ, Mbuvi Ngunze also told journalists that despite the fire incident, the airport now has a screening machine to screen baggage upon arrival.. The COO of Kenya Airways assured passengers that things have greatly normalized and safety has been guaranteed.###Monrovia Inquirer