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KQ passenger numbers back to normal

20 August 2013, 09:12

Nairobi - Passenger traffic is back to normal at Kenya Airways (KQ) after the fire at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) caused havoc for passengers and dented revenues, Chief Executive Titus Naikuni said on Monday.

The early morning blaze on August 7 destroyed the international arrivals building, forcing east Africa's fourth-busiest airport to close temporarily. Pointed white tents dotted around the airport now act as temporary lounges.

Naikuni last Monday said Kenya Airways had by then lost about $4 million from lost revenue as many flights were cancelled at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

"I'm pleased to let you know we are already back to where we were in terms of passenger numbers," Naikuni told reporters at Terminal 2, where a whiff of charcoal continues to permeate the air.

Kenya Airways shares are down 5.9 percent at just under 9 shillings per share, since the blaze broke out. On Monday they were up 0.6 percent at 9 shillings.

Naikuni said Kenya Airways carried about 11,900 passengers on Saturday, slightly above the average number of travellers it handles every day, and on Sunday it pushed above that figure.

"Yesterday, we carried 12,960 passenger, which could be a record for us, so we have recovered," Naikuni said, adding that the carrier has not worked out the total loss of revenue from the fire.

Nduva Muli, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, said Kenya is converting the airport's new multi-storey car park into an international arrivals lounge.

Authorities are also conducting structural damage tests on the gutted international arrivals lounge before restoration work can start, Muli added.

- Reuters

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