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Local airports angle to attract more cargo airlines

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Local airports angle to attract more cargo airlines

Eldoret International Airport
Cargo workers at the Eldoret International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Local airports are calling for more investments to boost their capacity to handle rising demand for freight services.

The Kenya Aviation Authority (KAA) says it has been working to woo cargo airlines in local airports. As the effort pays off, KAA acting managing director Alex Gitari said the airports need to be expanded to handle the growing demand for cargo services.

Eldoret International Airport, he said, is the fastest growing airport — after the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) — with more cargo airlines landing.

Data indicate that Eldoret Airport handled 11,200 metric tonnes in 2018 down from 9,100 metric tonnes in 2017. The airport if fully utilised has the capacity to handle more than 60,000 metric tonnes annually.

Some of the airlines operating at the airport include Ethiopian Airline, Fly Emirates, Jambo Jet, Sax and Skyward Express

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Mr Gitari noted that among the initiatives the authority has put in place is working closely with The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) countries to entice more airlines to launch cargo freight in the country.

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“KAA is finalising on an incentive plan for scheduled flights that will include launching new routes apart from investing on both air and ground infrastructure to provide conducive space for existing and new airlines,” said Mr Gitari.

“Eldoret Airport has recorded significant growth in cargo carriers due to its position and also the availability of horticulture which has remained our major export in the country. We are working with Comesa to link airlines which export Kenyan products to return with different merchandise to make routes more profitable.”

Eldoret Airport, which has two cargo warehouses and one passenger terminal, is strategically positioned with intermodal transport network such as lake and road making it attractive to other greater lakes regions.

Due to increasing demand of air freight transport, JKIA is constructing its sixth cargo terminal set for completion by February 2020, and which will increase its combined annual capacity of 1.2 million tonnes.

The terminals are fitted with modern specialised cargo handling facilities and adequate cold-rooms hence attracting more than 17 international scheduled cargo carriers and several ad-hoc freighters.

On February this year, JKIA was ranked the second fastest growing airport in the World Cargo Ranking which was attributed to growth of new markets in Far East and Australia and the increase in meat exports to Middle East.

“KAA is committed in ensuring more international scheduled cargo carriers visit not only JKIA but also utilise our other 18 airports and airstrips that is why we are undertaking major rehabilitation and expansion in our facilities,” said Mr Gitari.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing 12 Routes Africa meeting in Mombasa attended by business leaders from leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Africa.

The acting MD said there was a need to invest in new and modern terminals in different airstrips such as that of Malindi, Diani, Manda among others to attract bigger airlines and more visitors.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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