Kenya Airways (KQ) saw an increase in both cargo and passengers in the three months to December 2009, confirming its place as one of the leading carriers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Cargo volume increased by nine per cent from the 14,006 tonnes recorded in the last quarter of 2008 to 15,266 tonnes over the same period last year.

Passenger numbers showed an overall increase of four per cent, rising from 742,118 to 773,079. The rise was biggest (nine per cent) on KQ services within Africa but excluding Kenya, which accounted for over half the total number of passengers (421,949). Passengers travelling to destinations in the Middle East, Far East and Asia also increased by three percent to 120,577. Numbers for Europe remained substantially the same at 97,252, while only domestic flights showed a drop of five per cent to 133,301 as a result of the temporary suspension of services to Malindi and Lamu due to a fall in demand and the closure of Kisumu airport for runway repairs.

Following the release of the figures KQ shares rose by Ksh2, or four per cent, to Ksh52.5 on the Nairobi stock exchange.