Rwanda: Kigali Airport Outranks JKIA in Latest Rankings

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is slipping from its once-held position as the premier regional hub, trailing two spots behind Kigali in the latest rankings.

The 2024 Skytrax assessment of top airports positioned JKIA in tenth place, while Kigali secured the eighth spot among Africa's premier aerodromes. South Africa dominated the top three slots.

JKIA, traditionally hailed as East Africa's transit hub, has long facilitated passenger journeys to various destinations.

Skytrax's annual survey, encompassing over 570 global airports, evaluated traveler experiences across crucial touchpoints like check-in procedures, arrivals, transfers, retail options, security, and immigration.

Recent challenges have beset JKIA, including infrastructure issues like leaking roofs and prolonged power outages, impacting both inbound and outbound travelers.

In the past year alone, the airport suffered at least three blackouts, plunging Kenya's primary gateway into darkness. Analysts warn that such disruptions pose significant security threats, jeopardising the facility's integrity.

Despite Kenya's Category 1 status, JKIA lagged behind Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, which secured seventh place in the rankings.

Meanwhile, Cape Town Airport's standout performance notched it the prestigious 'Best Airport Staff Service in Africa' award, accentuating South Africa's aviation prowess.

Durban King Shaka Airport clinched the title of 'Best Regional Airport in Africa,' with Johannesburg's Tambo International Airport securing third place, reinforcing the country's aviation dominance.

However, Nigeria, Africa's economic powerhouse, failed to make the top 10 list, with neither Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja nor Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos featuring.

Kenya's journey to attaining Category One status faced delays, primarily due to unresolved security issues during the initial 2009 application.

The rejection stemmed from identified security vulnerabilities at JKIA and its failure to meet the standards outlined in the International Civil Aviation Organisation Annex 17, including recommended practices.

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