MOGADISHU (Halbeeg News) – Kenya Airways will restart direct flights to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu mid next week for the first time over a decade.
The company which seeks to enhance intra-Africa air connectivity linking cities will commence daily operations to Mogadishu with effect from 15 November 2018.
In a statement, Kenya Airways CEO, Sebastian Mikosz said that the daily flight is aimed at meeting the growing travel demand by Somali travelers, government and non-government organization officials and the growing number of entrepreneurs from Kenya and around the region who are keen on seeking opportunities in the country.
“We want to extend our network reach and make it convenient for our guests who work and invest in Somalia. The addition of this route to our network demonstrates our commitment to improving connectivity on the African continent while creating new opportunities for corporate investors, traders and tourists”, said Group Managing Director and CEO Sebastian Mikosz.
The airline currently serves 54 destinations across the globe, 44 of them in Africa. It is expected to commence direct flights to Gabon’s international airport Libreville on October 28.
A meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed in March last year saw Kenya end an 11-year flight blackout to and from Mogadishu.
Kenya had in 2006 suspended direct flights to Mogadishu following increased terror threats and attacks by Al-Shabaab.
Planes from Mogadishu had to pass through Wajir Airport for security checks and screening before proceeding to Nairobi.
The development comes barely three days after Ethiopia’s flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET) launched thrice-weekly direct passenger flights between Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, after 41-year hiatus.
Direct flights between Ethiopia and Somalia were suspended shortly after the outbreak of the 1977-78 border war between the two nations.
The launch of commercial flights between Ethiopia and Somalia also came amid wider optimism in the Horn of Africa region.