Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: BA to Increase Nairobi-London Flights

Nairobi, Kenya — British Airways plans to increase its daily flights between Nairobi and Heathrow which had been scaled back a few years ago due to the global economic crisis.

Area Commercial Manager for East and Central Africa, George Mawadri, said the airline is in the process of introducing new and higher capacity planes for its operations in the region as passenger traffic increases and competition intensifies within the local aviation space.

The airline is facing increased competition as other operators line up to start flights to London.

"We had to reduce our aircrafts from the Boeing 747 to the Boeing 777 as it was not viable as flights were travelling at a low capacity due to the economic crisis. Now, we will increase frequencies within certain regions including Nairobi and Uganda by the end of this year," Mawadri said.

Mawadri said Africa contributed 11.1 percent towards the group's revenues, which stood at Sh52 billion.

"Our operating profit has doubled since 2010 to stand at Sh52 billion. Our unit revenue was up 3.1 percent, we expanded profitability by increasing capacity and reducing non- fuel unit costs. Capacity was up 7.1 percent compared to 4.4 percent in 2010. The other reason our profits and revenues were high is the restructuring program that we under took in 2000," he said.

The airline's executive however said traffic might be impacted by the Olympics as well as the euro zone crisis.

"Ongoing developments in the euro zone will be a major factor in underlined growth demand especially in Spain and Greece for the BA group. A fuel increase of more than Sh09 trillion, year on year, which we believe will have a severe impact in the first half of 2012. Let's not forget that during the Olympics in July, not many people will want to travel and this may also affect our 2012 full year figures," He added.

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