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Monday August 19, 2013 MYT 10:25:02 PM
Monday August 19, 2013 MYT 10:26:22 PM
Members of the public stand in front of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, as it goes up in flames, in Kenya's capital Nairobi, August 7, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Passenger traffic is back to normal at Kenya Airways after a fire at Nairobi airport caused havoc for passengers and dented revenues, Chief Executive Titus Naikuni said on Monday.
The blaze in the early hours of August 7 destroyed the international arrivals building, forcing east Africa's fourth-busiest airport to close temporarily. Pointed white tents dotted around the airport now act as temporary lounges.
Naikuni last Monday said Kenya Airways had by then lost about $4 million (2 million pounds) from lost revenue as many flights were cancelled at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
"I'm pleased to let you know we are already back to where we were in terms of passenger numbers," Naikuni told reporters at Terminal 2, where a whiff of charcoal continues to permeate the air.
Kenya Airways shares are down 5.9 percent at just under 9 shillings per share since the blaze broke out. On Monday they were up 0.6 percent at 9 shillings.
Naikuni said Kenya Airways carried about 11,900 passengers on Saturday, slightly above the average number of travellers it handles every day, and on Sunday it pushed above that figure.
"Yesterday, we carried 12,960 passenger, which could be a record for us, so we have recovered," Naikuni said, adding that the carrier has not worked out the total loss of revenue from the fire.
Nduva Muli, Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, said Kenya is converting the airport's new multi-storey car park into an international arrivals lounge.
Authorities are also conducting structural damage tests on the gutted international arrivals lounge before restoration work can start, Muli added.
(Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by James Macharia and Greg Mahlich)
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