JKIA Opens Up New Terminal, 1A

One of the main waiting areas in Terminal 1A. (Picture by Joe Were)

JKIA has always had a familiar feel to me, having worked there for more than 3 years in a previous job. I felt that I always knew the nooks and crannies, the shortcuts, and navigating through it was never a problem.

But after walking through a few more cities and experiencing better airports and terminals, you are left wanting more out of your travel experience.

Outside T1
Outside T1

Having been built in 1975 and commissioned in 1978, the engineers and architects did not imagine that Nairobi would be such a central hub to Africa’s traffic. There were no major upgrades in the years to date, and needless to say, the capacity of travelers overwhelmed their plans and JKIA was bursting at the seams. Add the fire that happened just over a year ago, and you have a nightmare on your hands.

Thankfully, the plans to build a new airport and a new terminal were already in place, and all Kenya Airports Authority did was put the pedal to the metal to hasten the completion of the new terminal, 1-A.

The terminal 1A is set to be used exclusively by Kenya Airways and its Sky Team partners. Being the national carrier, KQ does have a lot of traffic in and out of Nairobi as its hub. This also means they will free up other terminals for use by other airlines.

Sky Team partners include: (Source: Sky Team)



Features to note on the new terminal include not just the better and modern space and design, but additional security measures, which should be fully functional and up to TSA standards by March 2015 when all systems are in place. The terminal is designed to carry 2.5M passengers per year, with a capacity of f 1800 pax at peak design, i.e. busiest times at the airport, which in Kenya are morning and night, based on flight schedules.

Inside the main check in area. (Picture by Joe Were)
Inside the main check in area. (Picture by Joe Were)

Kenya Airways will be opening doors on August 12, 2014, with these initial flights from the new Terminal 1A:

Flight  No. Destination Departure Time (all times local)
KQ 760 Johannesburg 0635 hours
KQ 410 Entebbe 0800 hours
KQ 480 Dar es Salaam 0810 hours
KQ 762 Johannesburg 0835 hours

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  • Jeddynm

    The feel of Heathrow Airport can be imagined…..