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Tourism Board lauds Lufthansa's plan to resume Nairobi flights

By Standard Reporter | June 12th 2015

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has welcomed German airline Lufthansa's decision to launch flights to Nairobi after almost 16 years, saying the move will boost recovery of the tourism sector. Lufthansa last served the Frankfurt–Nairobi route in March 1999, with three weekly Airbus A310 flights.

From October 27, 2105, the airline will fly four times a week to Nairobi from Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

According to KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa, the resumption of flights by Lufthansa will enhance Nairobi's status as a regional hub.

"We are delighted that Lufthansa is making a comeback to Nairobi. This is bound to have a positive impact on Kenya's tourism sector considering Germany is one of our key source markets," he said in a statement.

Destination network

He added that given the airline's expansive destination network in Europe, North and South America, the latest move offered an opportunity for the tourism sector to scale up marketing efforts in these regions.

"It's not just the German market that we will be targeting but also countries where Lufthansa flies to. We are currently implementing a global marketing campaign as part of tourism sector recovery efforts and the decision by Lufthansa is therefore timely," Mr Muriithi added.

The decision by the airline to resume flights follows discussions initially held between KTB and Aviareps during ITB 2015, the world's largest tourism trade fair.

This was followed by a meeting in Frankfurt in April between Commerce and Tourism Principal Secretary Ibrahim Mohammed, Ndegwa and Kenya's ambassador to Germany Joseph Magut, and Lufthansa officials headed by Sebastian Hollmeier, the head of network planning and hub development.

Ndegwa said concerted lobbying to have the airline resume flights had borne fruit. Unlike the UK and the US that issued travel advisories recently, Germany has not issued any.

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