African air transport in the 21st century: A case study of the contrasting experience of Nigeria and Kenya

By Oladele Samson Fatokun, Cranfield University School of Engineering

The African air transport industry progresses at different speeds in the highly heterogeneous Sub-Sahara African region. While on one hand countries such as South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya and Ethiopia have been relatively successful in their air transport experience, on the other hand many countries such as Nigeria have been less successful in the establishment of a strong and viable air transport industry.

This research benchmarked the Nigerian experience with that of Kenya in order to evaluate the Nigerian air transport industry and at the same time identify in the Kenyan experience best practices and success factors that could make Nigeria a relatively successful nation in air transportation of passenger and cargo. Various policies and results in the areas of air transport administration, air cargo transportation, air transportation of passengers, airport management and airline strategic management were benchmarked.

This thesis found that Kenya was more successful than Nigeria in the area of international passenger generation, air cargo transportation and air transport administration. Success factors and best practices in the Kenya experience responsible for the performance gap in the air transport experience of the two countries were also identified.

The research analysed in details the applicability of those factors to the Nigerian environment and it found that their applicability will encounter some constraints. The thesis gives an insight into the adjustments that can be made by Nigeria air transport stakeholders for the country to apply the identified success factors and best practices and become a relatively successful air transport nation.

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