More flights between China and Africa to help deepen cooperation
18 June 2015, 21:55
Nairobi - The coming direct flight
between Nairobi and Guangzhou will boost tourism and trade between China and
Kenya, a senior official of China Southern Airlines said on Tuesday.
The flight is part of the efforts made by the platform to
boost aviation cooperation with Africa set up in May by the Civil Aviation
Administration of China (CAAC). The cooperation platform will integrate
resources and share information on aviation development between China and
The Nairobi route will be the second one for China Southern
Airlines to launch in Africa after its Mauritius flight in July 2014.
"Kenya has emerged as a major aviation, financial and
commercial hub. It is against this backdrop that we are launching the
Nairobi-Guangzhou route," said Wells Zheng, the airlines' senior
Vice-President of Marketing.
The carrier will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday
flights between the two cities using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft that can carry
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Deepening business bonds has motivated China and African
countries to establish more flights. The number of passengers flying between
China and Africa is estimated to increase 15 percent every year.
By 2014, China has signed air transport agreement with 23
African nations, according to Chinese civil aviation authority. Eight African
airlines have started transport service to China, with 52 flights scheduled
During his visit to Africa in May last year, Chinese Premier
Li Keqiang said Beijing encouraged Chinese enterprises to form joint ventures
with African counterparts to improve Africa's aviation industry.
China has since moved forward on co-founded airlines,
technology and aircraft exports.
Last week, Mauritius and Chinese governments signed an
agreement that will increase weekly flights along China-Mauritius-Africa route
Despite new flights, more effort will be made to boost
aviation training and flight safety technology cooperation, said CAAC deputy director
China will provide African countries with 100 scholarships
on aviation study, Wang Zhiqing, deputy chief of the Civil Aviation
Administration of China said when addressing the African civil Aviation
Commission in Senegal two months after Premier Li's speech. He also promised to
further cooperate with Africa on infrastructure, training and security.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said January it will give
full cooperation to the move.
In April, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China
delivered two China's domestic-made Xinzhou-60 aircraft to Cameroon, the second
batch after 2012, and South Africa has signed deal to purchase 10 Xiaoying-500s
In 2010, China's Hainan Airlines and China-Africa
Development Fund set up a joint venture Africa World Airlines with Ghana's
Social Security and National Insurance Trust, the first of its kind. The
airline currently mainly focuses on domestic flight in Ghana, but has announced
plans to expand to Nigeria, Togo and Cote d'Ivoire.
Zheng said China Southern Airline, the world's third
largest, has the strength to serve Kenya and Africa as a whole based on its
intensive route network in China.
He said the new non-stop route will offer a better travel
solution to tourists and other customers, adding that the airline has been
holding talks with the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) to intensify the campaign to
market Kenya in order to catch a sustainable volume of passengers.