Background Information on Kenya


Kenya straddles the equator on the east coast of Africa.  It has an area of 583,000 square kilometers (slightly larger than France) and a population of about 35 million persons.  Nairobi, with of population of 1.3 million persons, is the capital of Kenya.

Kenay has been an independent republic since 1963.  Daniel arap Moi is the current president of Kenya.  He is also the head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), which has been the ruling party since independence.  President Moi was elected to his fourth term in multi-party presidential and legislative elections held in December 1992.

English is the official language and is used in business throughout the country.  Kiswahili is the Kenyan national language.  The legal system is based on English common law.

There is considerable on-line material available about Kenya.  Two large sites are the Kenya section of AfricaOnline and Kenyaweb.

Air Transport Market in Kenya

The air passenger transport market in Kenya currently amounts to about two million air journeys (domestic plus international) from the airports in Nairobi and Mombasa.  The air freight market is currently about 90,000 tons of cargo and mail.  Most international visitors are European tourists, 50% of which arrive on chartered flights.  Traffic on the Middle East/Asian routes consist mainly of foreign expatriates based in the Middle East and traveling to Kenya for vacation, Kenyans who work in the Gulf region, and family visitors and business travelers between Kenya and India.  The majority of travelers on sub-Saharan routes consist of business travelers.

Tourists travel to Kenya to see its abundant and diverse wildlike, to experience the natural beauty of the land, and to enjoy Kenya's colorful, multifaceted culture.  In 1993, Kenya hosted over 830,00 visitors, of which about 680,000 were on holiday.  Most of these visitors arrived to Kenya by air.  Among all African countries in 1993, Kenya ranked in the top 5 for both international tourist arrivals and tourism receipts.  Over the past decade, Africa recorded growth in tourist visits of 8.2%, the second highest growth rate among world regions and significantly higher than the world average of 5.5%.  The World Tourism Organization projects that tourism to Kenya will grow at an annual rate of about 6% through the year 2010.

Kenyan Airports

Kenya has two internation airports:  Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, and Moi International Airport (MIA) in Mombasa.   JKIA, which handled 2.6 million passengers in 1993,  is the primary airport for all international scheduled air traffic.  The terminal complex, taxiways, aprons, holding and maintenance facilities were built in 1978.  MIA is a smaller international airport, handling about 900,000 passengers in 1993. MIA has recently been renovated and expanded.  Foreign charter companies are allowed to operate only from MIA.  There are plans for constructing a new international airport at Eldoret, a major horticultural center in the western part of Kenya.

There are also domestic airports in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Malindi.

Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) operates all airports and runways in Kenya.  KAA authorizes airlines to use airport facilities and compiles traffic data.

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