Kigali International Airport is 3rd fastest growing airport in Africa: ForwardKeys
Sept 22, 2016: Kigali International Airport has been ranked among Africa’s top three airports with high number of seats. The rankings were made by ForwardKeys - a company that predicts future travel patterns. The first and second airports in terms of capacity are Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Kilimanjaro airport-both in Kenya and Tanzania. ForwardKeys revealed a growth of 11.2% in East Africa compared with the same period last year. “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, with Ethiopia up 9.6%, Tanzania up 10.6%, Mauritius up 11.6% and Kenya up 14.9%. South Africa is up 11.4%,” said OlivierJager, CEO of ForwardKeys. The Spain-based company says Africa registered 5.6% growth, but countries like Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia saw little growth or even a decline. According to the report, International bookings for travel to East African countries will until December this year increase by 17.3% ahead of where they were at this time last year.
The top seven origin markets are India, USA and Germany, France, the Netherlands, UK and South Africa. India tops this list with 34%, followed by Germany and USA with 21% each. France and The Netherlands contribute 16.1% and 16.6% respectively while UK at 13.2%. The highest African market is South Africa with 9.4%. Looking at international capacity from the 3rd quarter of last year to the 2nd, 3rd and projected 2nd quarter of next year, Nairobi grew by 0% and 2% respectively, while Kigali International Airport growth stood at 5% and 4% respectively. Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro made the highest growth with 11% and 20% respectively. Based on the capacity for flights within East Africa in the last quarter of 2015 and second quarter of 2016, Nairobi grew by 0 per cent and 2 per cent while Kilimandjaro growth was 6 per cent and 14 per cent respectively. Kigali made 13 per cent and 5 per cent growth. The growth of Kigali international airport is justified by Rwanda’s drive to become a conference hub. This year, a number of important conferences were hosted in Kigali, including the 27th African Union general assembly, Global Africa Investment Summit, and Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa(FARA).