Kenya Airways rationalizes flights to W. Africa
06 June 2013, 14:02
Nairobi - Kenya Airways said on Wednesday it has improved its flight connections between Hong Kong and West Africa via its Nairobi hub as the airline beefs up its presence across the continent.
The firm's CEO Titus Naikuni said that the airline is focusing on improving its footprint across Africa in order to encourage development across the continent.
Naikuni said Kenya Airways will allow passengers who come from Hong Kong, three times a week, to connect flights to different cities across West Africa as it rationalizes its operations in those destinations.
"The departing flight also allows passengers from Lagos, Accra and Dakar to connect to Hong Kong," he said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
"Alongside our target of flying to every African capital by 2016, we aim at providing convenient connections to the rest of the world in order to facilitate travel for trade, tourism and other purposes," he said.
The move comes after Kenya Airways plans direct flights to Blantyre from August, making it the second city in Malawi that that the national carrier flies into.
Kenya Airways said it will introduce three flights a week to Blantyre, Malawi's second largest city that doubles up as its commercial hub, following the recent granting of approvals by the Malawian government for the airline to begin operations into the city.
Naikuni said that the new route was part of the airline's efforts to open up the African continent and contribute towards sustainable development in Africa.
"We want to grow our network on the continent and fly to every African city with the right level of capacity and frequency," Naikuni said.
Kenya Airways is seeking to more than double the number of its aeroplanes to 115 in the next ten years. The company said it will also take bank loans to finance the ten year expansion plan that will cost 3.6 billion U.S. dollars when completed.
As part of fleet and destination expansion, Kenya Airways said earlier it will increase its destinations to China from the current two to six as it seeks to tap into the growing passenger and cargo travel between China and Africa. The airline currently flies directly from Nairobi to Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
According to the airline, flight KQ863 from Hong Kong via Dubai arrives in Nairobi at 0815 hours (local time) and connects to flights to different cities in West Africa – Accra in Ghana, Bamako in Mali, Lagos in Nigeria, Kinshasa in DRC and Douala in Cameroon.