German airline Lufthansa to resume Nairobi flights after 18 years

Crew of the Lufthansa Cargo plane Boeing 777F wave the Kenyan flag after landing in Kenya for the first time at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on March 11, 2014. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • According to KTB Managing Director Muriithi Ndegwa, the launch of flights by Lufthansa will enhance Nairobi’s status as a regional hub.
  • Before this, Lufthansa has over time relied on partners like Swissair and Brussels Airlines which are codeshared to connect their passengers to Nairobi.
  • The airline will leave Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub at 1110 hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (and on Fridays from December 11 to the end of January 2016).

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has welcomed the decision by the German airline Lufthansa to resume flights to Nairobi after 18 years of absence.

The airline early this week announced its plans to fly its Airbus A340-300 to Nairobi four times a week from October 27 this year and five times a week from December 11.

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

“We are delighted that Lufthansa is making a comeback to Nairobi as one of its destinations. This is bound to have a positive impact on Kenya’s tourism sector considering Germany is one of our key source markets,” said Mr Muriithi.

According to a statement from the carrier, the airline will leave Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub at 1110 hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (and on Fridays from December 11 to the end of January 2016).

The aircraft will reach Nairobi in the evening after a journey of more than eight hours.

The return aircraft will take off from Nairobi as a night flight in the late evening and lands the morning of the following day at Frankfurt Airport.

“The flight times are thus optimally aligned to flights from Germany, Europe and the North Atlantic,” read the statement.

Given Lufthansa’s expansive destination network in Europe, North and South America, Mr Muriithi said, 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 said.

Before this, Lufthansa has over time relied on partners — like Swissair and Brussels Airlines — which are codeshared to connect their passengers to Nairobi.

Last year, the airline launched direct cargo flights to Nairobi using Jambo Kenya freighter, with a total capacity of 103 tonnes.

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