Business / Companies

Kenya Airways to open more direct flights from China

By Chen Qide ( Updated: 2015-01-23 17:09

Kenya Airways is expected to open non-stop flights from Beijing to Nairobi in Kenya in May with four services a week on Boeing 787 aircrafts said a sales executive with Kenya Airways.

The airline now has daily flights from Guangzhou to Nairobi and four flights a week from Hong Kong to Nairobi.

"Preparations are under way for direct flights from Shanghai to Nairobi, which are expected to open late this year," said Koko Wu, sales executive of Kenya Airways China.

Local insiders said opening new services in China is a powerful measure to match the tourism promotion campaigns launched by the Kenya Tourism Board in the Chinese mainland.

The board plans to launch new tourism campaigns in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou in Guangdong province and Chengdu in Sichuan province this year.

"To ease the movement of Chinese tourists and visitors to Kenya, the Governments of Kenya and China are working closely to improve air connectivity between the two countries," said Michael Kinyanjui, Kenyan Ambassador to China, at the roundtable on tourism in Kenya which was held in Shanghai on January 22.

Kinyanjui said the mutual effort will make air travel easier by increasing flight frequencies and entry points by Kenya Airways to China.

In September 2014, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in tourism, which covered cooperation in exchange programs, marketing and promotions, training and capacity development, sustainable tourism development and investments in the industry, he said.

"The governments of the two countries are, therefore, fully committed to deepening the cooperation in the field of tourism," Kinyanjui added.

Kenya received about 40,000 Chinese tourists in 2014, which decreased by 20 percent compared to 2013, said Jacinta Nzioka Mbithi, marketing director of Kenya Tourism Board, adding that the number occupied a small portion of the foreign visitors to the country last year.

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