Air lndia has returned to Kenya after a 10-year absence with four direct flights a week between Mumbai and Narobi.
Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) Chief Executive Officer Dr Betty Radier said during the welcoming ceremony for the inaugural flight that the return of the airline presents a big opportunity for the two countries that have shared trade and economic ties for many years.
“Air India will be instrumental in increasing uptake from both Tier I and II city markets of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and others, utilizing its existing domestic infrastructure network, market knowledge and presence,” said Dr Radier, adding that it would help promote tourism, trade, improve relationships and create opportunities between the two countries.
“India is one of Kenya’s top tourist source market. Arrivals from India in year 2018 grew by 51.9 per cent to reach 125,032. The return of Air India to Kenya adds to the existing connectivity by KQ and other airlines flying into Kenya and thus further enhancing accessibility to Kenya”, said Dr Radier.
She said KTB would continue to put effort to grow tourism from India, building on the goodwill and strong ties enjoyed by the two nations.
“India has 75 Million passport holders which presents a great opportunity for Kenya to tap into the arrival of Air India, especially during peak travel seasons of October to December when 25 per cent of outbound travel happens and from April to June that has 50 per cent of outbound travel from India” observed Dr Radier.
She said Kenya had a large Indian community that form the 44th tribe, tourists from India will therefore feel right at home. They will find excellent food whether they are pure vegetarians, Jain, or prefer cuisine aligned to the Hindu or Muslim religious requirement.”