Raila renews calls for direct flights to US
By - | July 10th 2012
Prime Minister Raila Odinga Tuesday renewed calls for direct flights between the US and Kenya, saying the country is working to address the security and infrastructure concerns of airlines.
Raila and a delegation from Denver, Colorado, agreed to form a joint committee to explore ways of starting direct flights between Nairobi and the US city.
Speaking when he received the officials, businessmen and students from the City of Denver at his offices, Raila said the completion of Terminal Four of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport would address the concerns that led to the cancellation of direct flights by Delta Air lines.
Terminal Four, whose construction the PM said is progressing well, will separate arrivals from departures, which was a key concern raised by US authorities and Delta Airlines.
“Direct flights from Atlanta were cancelled at the last minute because we had not yet separated arrivals from departures. We are working on this now. Having direct flights between Kenya and US is long overdue.,” the PM said.
The PM said work will begin soon on the Green Terminal, whose capacity will be several times that of terminal four and would expand Kenya’s capacity to export agricultural produce.
The PM appealed to the officials to expand scholarship and exchange programs for Kenyan students from poor backgrounds who are keen to participate in learning opportunities at universities in and around Denver.
He said a number of higher learning institutions in Denver have programmes for students from poor backgrounds and young Kenyans were keen to participate.
The leader of the delegation Mr Albus Brooks from the Denver City Council’s of District 8, said Nairobi became Denver’s third sister city back in back in 1975 adding that direct flights between the two cities would mark an important progression.
He said Denver city officials are ready to lobby for air links as soon a joint a committee is established in Nairobi.
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