… Route marks airline’s 56th global destination
Nairobi September 14, 2011 … National carrier and Pride of Africa Kenya Airways today announced that it will commence flights to the Middle Eastern city of Jeddah in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia effective 18th October 2011. The much anticipated service marks Kenya Airways’ 56th global destination and 3rd in the Middle East.
Kenya Airways will operate the route twice a week every Tuesday and Saturday on a Boeing 737-800.
This new service highlights Kenya Airways ambitious growth plans to expand its network not only across Africa but also beyond the borders of the continent. The commencement of these flights will give Kenyans and other regional and international travelers from all over the world, direct access from Nairobi to the oil-rich nation.
Located on the middle of the Eastern coast of the Red Sea, Jeddah is the economic and tourist capital of the country. With a population estimated at about 3.4 Million people, it is Saudi Arabia’s second largest city after the capital Riyadh.
According Dr Titus Naikuni, the airline’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Jeddah is an important destination for the airline because of its economic importance as a trading partner for several African and European countries as well as being the gateway to the Holy city of Mecca.
“Kenya Airways is pleased to launch this service, our third to the Middle Eastern region. It is testament to our efforts to grow our network internationally so as to offer connectivity not just across Africa, but from Africa to the rest of the world through our Nairobi hub.”
Dr. Naikuni added reiterated that Kenya Airways would relentlessly pursue its growth objective this year by adding new routes to its network and improving its the efficiency on existing ones.
“We are doing this by adding new aircraft and establishing additional frequencies on the high traffic routes to ensure we offer more alternative flights to our customers. We have just taken delivery of our eighth Embraer E-190 jet and another one is currently going through final tests before its delivery early next month.”
Dr. Naikuni added that Kenya Airways will use the new route to serve travelers within Africa and from outside the continent desirous of shorter connection time to rest of Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Far East through its hub at the JKIA in Nairobi.
Apart from its economic potential, Dr. Naikuni noted that Jeddah offered potential for tourists from the Middle East which would help to boost the industry for the country. “The Middle East offers great potential for tourists for Kenya and we are confident that the new service from Kenya Airways will make it easier for our partners in the industry to bring in visitors to explore what Kenya has to offer,” he said.
With an increasing focus on developing capital investment in scientific and engineering leadership within Saudi Arabia, Jeddah has variously been ranked as one of the top cities in Africa and The Middle East region in terms of innovation. The city plays host to a large expatriate community and has become one of the more cosmopolitan cities in the Middle East.
Over the years, Jeddah has capitalized on its rich culture and history together with its unique location and attractive tourist facilities to make it one of the major resort cities of the Middle East.