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JKIA Voted Best Marketed Airport In Africa Once Again
Date Posted: 22 Sep, 2009

JKIA has done it again.  For the second year in a row, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has won the prestigious Routes Airport Marketing Award, African category.

JKIA was voted for the prestigious award at the recently concluded World Routes Event which drew over 2000 participants from leading Airports and Airlines of the world on 14th September 2009.

The award is only granted to an Airport after a thorough peer review by Airlines who are key stakeholders in Airports for excellence in marketing and for championing world class service to them.

The four winning categories were:

So, why JKIA? 
JKIA, like all major airports, were hard hit by the effects of the world economic downturn, with our main customers, the airlines, cutting capacity, eliminating routes, merging and even closing down.  The year 2008 was made worse for Kenya by the post election violence which greatly affected business and leisure travel into the country.  The Kenyan economy grew by a mere 1.5% during this period compared to a 7% growth in 2007.

Against this background our marketing activities at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport were focused on retaining customers, maintaining market share and providing quality customer service. This saw a growth in passenger movement of 3% from 4,784,000 to 4, 922, 542 and an increase of aircraft movement of 5%.

To understand and prioritize consumer needs, we undertake a thorough quarterly research whose outcome has guided us in introducing two new aspects

  • A revolving trophy amongst the 7 Airports managed by Kenya Airports Authority.  The trophy is given to the airport that has shown most improvement in customer service delivery.
  • Formation of an Airport Service Committee comprising of representatives of the main airport stakeholders, JKIA management, Airlines, Retailers, Immigration, Customs and Security.

To provide better amenities for customers comfort and improve the overall image of JKIA, KAA is undertaking a USD 200 expansion program that will result in additional aprons, taxiways, new terminal building, new retail areas, multi-storey car parks and refurbishment of existing terminal buildings.

Alongside this expansion program is another project being undertaken under a Public Private Partnership.  The project is an airport expo/exhibition centre comprising of a 5 star and a 4 star hotel, convention centre, exhibition centre, 5 office blocks, VIP/tourist hospital and serviced apartments.   On the cargo side also under Public Private Partnership, we have 3 freight handling warehouses under development, a fresh produce centre and additional cold rooms. 

In addition to the above, the airport has developed a 3 month new airline advertising incentive.  This entails the use of strategically located advertising media, valued at USD 4000 over the period.  KAA has introduced a 25% landing fee discount at our Eldoret and Mombasa airports but the user charges at JKIA have not been reduced and most importantly, they have not been INCREASED even in the light of the massive expansion programs KAA is absorbing the expansion costs as way of cushioning our customers during this challenging economic times.  KAA together with other stakeholders has however lobbied the government to reduce visa fees and this has been done by 50%.  This has generated good will from the airlines and passengers; and made JKIA more attractive.

Commenting on the marketing award, the KAA General Manager, Marketing and Business Development Ms Lucy Mbugua said that it was due to team work and dedication between the JKIA Airport Management and her department that ensured that JKIA retained the title.

She thanked all those involved in making of the award possible including the senior management for having faith and confidence in the marketing team.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has risen from humble beginnings since operations began in 1978 to become a leading regional hub in the African aviation industry and currently serves over 34 scheduled Airlines and over 5 million passengers a year.