Kenya’s Airports Welcome Over 12 Million Passengers in 2023

International Arrivals Up 35.4%, fuelled by new airlines and conferences - Economic Survey 2024.

Kenya Airports
Photo/ KAA

Kenya’s travel sector saw a significant upswing in 2023, according to the Economic Survey Report 2024, released by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on May 20th, 2024.

Air Passenger Traffic Up

The report highlights a notable increase in passenger traffic at Kenyan airports:

The number of passengers handled at Kenya’s Airports increased from 10,238.6 thousand passengers in 2022 to 12, 205.8 thousand passengers in 2023.


Boost for JKIA and MOI Airports

Both Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) and Mombasa’s Moi International Airport (MBA) saw a rise in international arrivals.

The report further highlights that arrivals remained consistently higher at both airports throughout 2023 compared to 2022.

During the review period, 4,136.9 thousand passengers arrived at JKIA, indicating that 36 out of every 100 incoming passengers were inbound tourists.

  • Moi International Airport (MBA): Arrivals at Moi International Airport grew by 82.3% to 157.0 thousand.
  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA): Arrivals through JKIA rose by 32.9% to 1,478.4 thousand in 2023.

New Airline Routes, MICE Tourism Stimulate Growth

“Key developments in the aviation sector during 2023 included the introduction of direct flights of three (3) new airlines namely; IndiGO (Mumbai – Nairobi), Flydubai (Dubai – Mombasa) and Airlink (Johannesburg – Nairobi), and the successful bids for hosting prominent conferences [MICE – Meetings, Incentive, Conferences, Exhibitions].”

This growth in air travel directly contributed to the improvement of Kenya’s tourism sector, as emphasised in the Economic Survey:

The number of international visitor arrivals grew by 35.4% from 1,541.0 thousand in 2022 to 2086.8 thousand in 2023.