The number of registered airplanes in Kenya increased by 47 in 2021 to hit 782, data from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has revealed.
The figure excludes National Police Service (NPS) and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) registered airplanes.
The uptick came after a torrid 2020 which hit the aviation sector hard, primarily due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Kenya, 72 planes were either sold or grounded in 2020.
The increase in 2021 came on the back of the aviation sector’s recovery alongside the economy. The imminent general election, during which politicians spend millions on hiring helicopters and planes, also didn’t hurt matters.
Aircraft owners in Kenya include private aviation firms, large-scale farmers who use the aircrafts to spray their crops, high-flying business people and politicians.
Several private aviation firms had grounded planes as they cut flights during the pandemic. The reopening of the skies saw them renew licenses for their planes.
“The resumption of international flights on August 1, 2021, within the Covid-19 operating period spurred revival of passenger operations within the aviation industry and operators renewed their certificates of airworthiness in order to continue with operations,” the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) observed.
“Most aircrafts had been parked during the Covid period 2019/2020.”
According to the lobby for private aircraft owners, Aero Club of East Africa, the rise is attributable to Nairobi’s status as a regional hub with newly-minted millionaires able to acquire aircrafts.