ETIHAD JOINS NAIROBI THRONG
Ethihad, Abu Dhabis national airline, has today joined the Gulf aviation who is who when the airline commenced nonstop flights between the UAEs capital city and Kenyas capital Nairobi. Etihad will as of April 01st, and this is NOT an April Fools Day joke, operate daily services on an A320 aircraft in a two class configuration, joining Gulf Air, Qatar Airways and Emirates on the route, besides LCC Air Arabia which operates daily flights from Sharjah. There is now growing speculation also over Fly Dubais intentions to expand their reach on the African continent although they have been constrained in their expansion by lack of enough aircraft.
Etihad has taken the fight to the market with launch fares of US Dollars 399 to Abu Dhabi and to Dubai which can be reached by a regular coach service as well as by air, the latter a mere 15 minutes.
A senior management member of Kenya Airways, spoken to in length at the companys share rights issue launch last Friday, on condition of not being named said: This new arrival in Nairobi is good for the country. Competition in the airline industry is good for the market, affords many more travelers to go places they could otherwise not reach. And every airline has to fill those seats, so they will be promoting and marketing their new destination. When their passengers land in Nairobi, we as Kenya Airways cover the region like no other. Any of their passengers flying on beyond Nairobi to neighbouring countries, are likely to use our flights, so it is a win win situation for Kenya and for Kenya Airways too.
Magnanimous or spot on, though I am sure that the readers will have their own views too on this interpretation. What is true though is that Kenya, and the wider East Africa, has again been put on yet more maps and will undoubtedly benefit from the 7 added flights each week, adding a combined nearly 900 more seats into the market every week with all the related up- but also downsides. Watch this space for breaking news and regular updates from East Africas aviation sector.