Qatar adds more flights to Nairobi
KENYA’s EAST African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Phyllis Kandie, has welcomed Qatar Airways’ decision to increase its frequency between Doha and Nairobi by adding four additional weekly flights to and from the capital city. Beginning 1 September, 2013, the airline will increase its A320 aircraft flights to 18 flights per week, up from the current 14 flights.
“The additional Qatar Airways flights is very good news for Kenya,” said Kandie. “From a business perspective, it will give increased passenger capacity which will positively contribute towards the economic growth of our country. For visitors, the increased availability to fly to Nairobi directly from the international hub of Doha enables passengers to reach our country with more ease than ever before. All of this contributes to the economic growth of Kenya and towards the achievement of our Vision 2030 goals.”
Qatar’s Country Manager for Kenya, Clifford Christopher, noted the higher customer demand, both in passenger and cargo transport, as the business case for adding more flights. “As a travel destination, Nairobi has grown in popularity over the last few years. Tourists from all over the world are increasingly flocking to the capital city as an entry point to Kenya and a gateway to East Africa.”
Demand for transport to and from Nairobi has increased dramatically as a business and leisure hub for East and Central Africa, especially as a result of Kenya’s economic growth, up 4.8% since 2012. This is in part due to the country’s increase in exports of fresh produce, flowers and foliage, and of course, tea of which Kenya is one of the world’s largest exporters.
As Kenya focuses on growing its tourist arrivals to three million per year by 2017, Qatar Airways increased passenger capacity will help to accelerate the achievement of this goal. Visitors from Europe, the Middle East, Far East and Asia Pacific will now have increased options and better connections than ever before.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 128 key business and leisure destinations worldwide. So far, it has launched six destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman) and Basra (Iraq). Over the next few months, the network will expand with the addition of further destinations – Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (20 August), Chengdu, China (3 September), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (18 September), Clark International Airport, Philippines (27 October) and Philadelphia, USA (2 April, 2014).
Qatar Airways was presented with three honours at the annual Skytrax 2013 World Airline Awards held during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France in June. The airline was awarded the World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.
The airline has also been named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport named Best Premium Service Airport for the third consecutive year in 2013. Qatar Airways has also twice been recipient of the prestigious Skytrax Airline of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012. Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.
Qatar Airways currently has orders worth over US$50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 family of aircraft. In addition, Qatar Airways will become the first of the major Gulf carriers to join a global alliance having been invited into the oneworld group.