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P.O. Box: 19002 – 00501 Nairobi, Kenya
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China Eastern Airlines
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Precision Air Services
Kenya Airways is the national airline of Kenya. The carrier is based at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, and operates an extensive network of regional services within Kenya and Africa as well as flights to Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Kenya Airways became a member of SkyTeam in Jun-2010.
Location of Kenya Airways main hub (Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport)
Kenya Airways share price
879 total articles
Precision Air Services chairman: Don't attribute 2012 revenue fall to partnership with Kenya Airways
55 total articles
There are three characteristics of China's airlines flying long-haul: first is the role of government pushing and often subsidising routes, even on outbound-heavy leisure flights, such as to Europe. There are some elements of a herd mentality: witness China Southern expanding in North America after Air China. And then there is domination: China Southern in a few years became a common name in Australia while Air China will soon have three daily flights between Beijing and Los Angeles.
Chinese airlines have grown in Australia, North America and Europe. The missing continent in their growth story is Africa (South America will be only a small component).
Chinese airlines have come and gone in Africa, but 2015 should cement efforts to link Africa with China. China Southern will open a service to Nairobi, in addition to Air China's previously announced Johannesburg service. For the airlines, Africa will be a very different market from Australia, Europe and North America. It will not be as big or sustainable, but it will now start to grow after many quiet years, with strong overtones of trade flows.
Ethiopian Airlines is planning further fleet and network expansion in 2015, enabling the flag carrier to widen the gap with other leading African carriers. Ethiopian has already become the largest airline in Africa based on fleet size and could overtake South African Airlines (SAA) in 2015 as the largest based on passengers carried.
Ethiopian has doubled in size since the beginning of the decade while most other major African carriers have grown only slightly or not at all. Asia and Africa have been, and will continue to be, the primary drivers as Ethiopian taps the booming Asia-Africa market.
Ethiopian plans to launch services to Tokyo in Apr-2015, which will become its 11th destination in Asia. The carrier will also add its second US destination in Jun-2015 as service to Los Angeles is launched.
China's aviation authorities have long pressured its airlines to serve Africa, where China has growing commercial and government ties with many resource-rich countries across various regions. African airlines, especially Ethiopian Airlines, have been growing in China and the government is eager to see its own airlines represented there. However, there have been limited African routes operated by Chinese airlines: Hainan Airlines has withdrawn from Luanda while China Southern is serving Mauritius to carry Chinese tourists on holiday.
Air China, as the flag carrier, may be pressured finally into entering Africa as it, according to a Chinese report, is considering service in 2015 to Addis Ababa and Johannesburg. Air China would presumably need to work with Star Alliance partners Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways on such a service. Ethiopian has been receptive to partnerships while SAA desperately needs a solution to its Beijing route that is heavily loss-making but which the South African government wants maintained. Air China's possible entry comes as Asian airlines are declining in Africa; but both possible routes would be commercially difficult for Air China.
East Africa is seeing an influx of new LCC services, led by expansion at flydubai and fastjet. flydubai is launching six destinations in four East African countries during Sep/Oct-2014, which will make it the leading LCC in the region’s international market.
flydubai and fastjet both launched services to Entebbe in Sep-2014, giving Uganda its first taste of low fares. flydubai will also by the end of Sep-2014 become the first LCC to serve Burundi and Rwanda, increasing the number of East African countries with low-cost services to eight, compared to only three two years ago.
There are only about 300 weekly flights operated to from or within East Africa by low-cost carriers, resulting in an LCC penetration rate of about 8%. But LCCs are expanding rapidly in the region with over half of East Africa’s LCC routes launched within the last year.
Boeing's 787 Dreamliner was billed as a "hub-buster", an aircraft that would open new routes and allow passengers to fly non-stop in thinner markets rather than transfer via a hub. With the 787 approaching three years of service, how have airlines used the aircraft? Looking at routes planned for the northern winter 2014/2015 schedule, 17% of 787 routes have been launched with the Dreamliner. The remaining 83% have had the 787 replace or supplement an existing aircraft.
The 787 has had a difficult entry into service, with airlines intending to launch routes with the 787 but having to use other aircraft types as an interim measure. If we include such known examples of routes launched with an interim aircraft and later switched – often mere days or weeks later – to the 787, the share of 787 routes opened with the Dreamliner increases to 20%.
Kenya Airways low-cost carrier subsidiary Jambojet plans to launch operations on 1-Apr-2014 with 737-300 services on Kenya’s three largest domestic routes. Jambojet becomes only the fourth LCC brand in the intra-Africa market and the first by most measures for Kenya.
Jambojet is primarily a defensive move for Kenya Airways, which recognises that if it did not make an early move in the LCC sector a competitor would. But it also sees a budget brand as the best option for stimulating demand and growing Kenya’s domestic market.
Jambojet plans to only operate domestically in its first phase. International services could come later but Kenya Airways seems in no hurry to pursue ambitious growth for its new subsidiary.