Tuesday, August 13, 2013

■ KENYA: Kenya Airways takes $4million knock from Nairobi fire as Kenyatta speeds up Terminal 4's opening.

Kenya AirwaysKenya Airways (KQ) has suffered USD4million in losses owing to the recent outbreak of fire at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, CEO Dr Titus Naikuni has said. Despite the erection of tents to process international flights five days after the fire, passengers are still facing long delays and cancellations.

NBO Cargo Terminal now used for domestic
flights temporarily (E Njoka)
Nairobi media reports state that Kenya Airways handled 9'600 passengers on Saturday at JKIA, east Africa's fourth-busiest airport, slightly short of the 11'000 travellers the airline usually handles at the airport each day.
"We have lost revenues of about USD4 million," Naikuni told journalists at JKIA on Sunday, according to local media reports. "The incident also left us with a huge pile-up, but we are catching up because we are at about 90 percent of our normal flights."
However, the fire itself could be a blessing in disguise for the ageing facility as Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, has committed his government to the airport's upgrading and refurbishment, long plagued by delays and squabbles. Mr Kenyatta noted the damage at the Arrivals Terminal but said the overall cost incurred had not yet been quantified. He added that a full refurbishment of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 would be undertaken once a new temporary terminal is ready with the opening of Terminal 4, currently under construction, to be expedited.
"To enhance passenger comfort, in addition to the facilities we have made available, we will build a new temporary terminal with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers. We expect this to be ready and working in the coming weeks. We also expect the commissioning of our Terminal 4, currently under construction, to come on stream earlier than the projected March 4 date," he said in a statement.
Terminal Four and the rehabilitation of  Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are expected to boost JKIA's capacity to eight million. The Kenyan Aviation Authority having already secured a KES8billion (USD93million) loan from the European Investment Bank to upgrade the three terminals.

In response to criticisms of the Kenyan capital's emergency services, Mr Kenyatta said an overhaul of Kenya's national disaster services would be undertaken with the aim of creating one single coordinating agency.