Kenya’s aviation space is projected to grow rapidly in the next 20 years despite the troubles entwining the national airline, Kenya Airways, the International Air Transport Association has predicted.
IATA forecasts that by 2037, the air transport sector will grow by 249 percent and contribute approximately USD 11.3 billion to the country’s GDP, creating nearly 900,000 jobs.
The growth in the air sector will be as a result of an increase in journeys made through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) that is expected to grow by an additional 11.3 million passengers.
“Over the next 20 years, the Kenyan market could more than double in size, resulting in an additional passenger journey… and a USD 11.3 billion boosts to GDP by 2037,”
However, the Canada-based association notes that in order to double its growth, the government needs to improve its operational efficiency.
IATA stated that the government ought to work on the implementation of Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) which it says, will open Africa skies and ease the movement of the airlines across the continent.
“With open sky policy, it means that more airlines will fly and the cost of air ticket will be affordable. This ( also) means that countries’ economies will benefit from this,” he said.
This policy has however remained unachievable, African aviation space has remained rigid as most nations are protecting their national carriers by failing to implement open sky policy.
IATA predicts that the industry will grow in Africa by 5.1 percent over the next 20 years, reaching a total market size of over 300m passengers annually.
In its Value of Aviation Report for Kenya, IATA noted that in 2017, the air transport sector contributed USD 3.2 billion to the Kenyan economy, amounting to 4.6 percent of the country’s GDP.
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