Kenya Airways achieved an impressive 62 percent cabin factor on its inaugural flight to Mogadishu, marking the resumption of the Somali route after a three-year hiatus.

The airline, utilising an Embraer aircraft for the route, deemed the cabin factor remarkable for a first flight.

Allan Kilavuka, the CEO of Kenya Airways, expressed satisfaction with the inaugural flight’s performance and anticipates an increase in passenger numbers in subsequent flights.

“The cabin factor was a commendable 62 percent, especially considering it was the maiden flight,” remarked Mr Kilavuka to Business Day Africa.

Based at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya Airways is operating three weekly flights to Mogadishu.

This reinstatement follows a temporary suspension in August 2020, attributed to precautionary measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to resume flights aligns with the heightened business activities and growing air travel engagements between Kenya and Somalia. Reconnecting with Mogadishu plays an important role in Kenya Airways’ broader network expansion strategy and commitment.

Mogadishu is emerging as a key route for the Kenyan carrier, contributing to revenue growth. In addition to passenger flights, Kenya Airways has augmented its cargo network by introducing a medium-range freighter to its fleet.

The airline currently serves the Mogadishu route on a weekly basis, with the inaugural flight on February 9, and plans to increase frequencies to twice weekly in April.

Kenya Airways recognises the significant demand for air freight transportation on the direct route between the UAE and Somalia. The focus is on transporting high-tech consumer goods, automotive parts, project cargo, and clothing—frequently shipped commodities along this route.

gandae@businessdayafrica.org