China Southern Airlines makes maiden flight to Nairobi

NAIROBI, KENYA: China Southern Airlines on Wednesday made its maiden flight to JKIA as direct flights from Guangzhou-Nairobi. This will be the airline’s second direct route to Africa (after Mauritius), and will capitalise on the growing tourism and business travel volume between Asia and Africa, particularly to Nairobi.   

Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Hon. Phyllis Kandie, said the country is delighted to welcome China’s largest airline to Kenya and applauds the decision that follows a successful MOU on tourism between the two countries last year.  

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome China’s largest airline to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, (JKIA)” said Kandie adding “Direct flights from any country bring increased trade and tourism, the growth of which from China into Kenya is set to continue.”  

China has been one of the key trading partners of Kenya heavily investing in the East African nation’s infrastructure and energy sectors. In August 2014, the China Communications Construction Company Ltd signed a $480 million agreement to build the first three berths of Kenya’s Lamu Port to handle general, bulk and container cargo under the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor Project (LAPSSET).  

Kandie added that Kenya is the world’s gateway to East Africa and alongside its breath-taking safari and beach resorts, it’s a fast developing growth economy with excellent business opportunities and this is a confirmation of JKIA as a growing regional and international airport.  

“Chinese businesses such as Bank of China, Huawei, and Qingjian International are already operating successfully in Kenya and East African markets and we look forward to strengthening trade relations between our countries, supported by of direct flights and the ease of movement they bring,” she concluded. 

The carrier will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday flights between the two cities using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft that can carry 300 passengers.

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