ISRAEL CLEARS ARKIA FOR KENYA FLIGHTS
(Posted 07th July 2016)
The just concluded visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yielded instant results on several fronts, all benefiting Kenya as a country and the Kenyan tourism industry.
While in Nairobi, where host President Uhuru Kenyatta correctly addressed the visiting PM as coming from Israel and not Palestine, did Netanyahu announce increased security cooperation between the two countries to fight terrorism in all its forms. This will no doubt give Kenya’s security services a boost in terms of equipment and training, much needed to stay ahead of the latest tactics of terrorists as seen elsewhere in the world.
The other good news was that Israel’s private airline Arkia will return to Kenya with three times a week flights between Tel Aviv and Nairobi.
Arkia, faced with a failed missile attack – two SA7 surface to air missiles had been fired at the jet shortly after take off on the 28th November 2002, subsequently withdrew from Mombasa, effectively cutting off the flow of Israeli tourists to the Kenya coast and El Al, Israel’s national airline, also halted flights to Nairobi in 2002, reportedly over security concerns.There was intense speculation that El Al might return to Kenya in late 2014 but it now seems that Arkia will beat the Israeli national carrier to the door.
When flights resume will both trade and tourism benefit from the new route as it cuts out travel via a third country when visiting the Holy Land.
While details about frequencies and aircraft to be used remain subject to speculation was it confirmed that Kenya Airways too was given landing rights, should the Pride of Africa wish to go on the route.