Business / Industries

Direct flights boost Sino-Kenya trade: Airline officials

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-24 13:18

NAIROBI - The direct flight between the Chinese city Guangzhou and Kenya's capital Nairobi launched by China Southern Airlines in August has elevated Sino-Kenya relations, airline officials say.

Linda Masinde, a supervisor at China Southern Airlines Nairobi office, said the Nairobi-Guangzhou direct flight had enhanced Sino-Kenya trade and people-to-people exchanges.

"The direct flight from Nairobi to Guangzhou is popular with Kenyan business people and Chinese tourists. In the last five months, we have recorded brisk business in this competitive route," Masinde told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Hailed as a milestone in Sino-Kenya ties, the direct flight so far has gained popularity among travelers between the two countries owing to its convenience and modest cost.

"The direct flight is enticing to Kenyan business executives traveling to China since they can land in the country on time and book for a return flight promptly. The Chinese passengers who are mostly tourists have appreciated our service," Masinde said.

Masinde said the direct flight handled an estimated 1,000 passengers every week.

"We have been making three flights in a week during the peak season and each flight handles 180 passengers. All our flights have been full since the inaugural launch in August," said Masinde.

Wu Weijun, General Manager of China Southern Airlines Nairobi office, said the Nairobi-Guangzhou route recorded good returns despite competition.

"Basically, our performance in the Nairobi-Guangzhou route has been good and we intend to make Nairobi our hub in Africa," Wu told Xinhua, adding China Southern Airlines intended to expand its foot print across the continent.

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