Airline obtains 5th Freedom Rights to fly to Cotonou, Benin
Nairobi, July 15th 2011 … Kenya Airways has today commenced flights to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The new route, the 55th of the airline’s global destinations, and 45th in Africa, will see Kenya Airways strengthen its presence in West Africa with direct flights to Burkina Faso’s capital city.
The new destination will be serviced with a Boeing 737 –700, twice a week every Friday and Monday out of Nairobi.
During the event to officially inaugurate the service, Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Dr. Titus Naikuni announced that the airline has also been granted 5th Freedom Rights by both Government of Benin and Burkina Faso. This means that Kenya Airways will now be able sell tickets and uplift passengers between Cotonou and Ouagadougou and vice versa.
“This is an important development for Kenya Airways as it offers further consolidation of our expanding African network and brings us closer to achieving our ambition of being the carrier of choice for Africa. Our plans to fly to every Capital in Africa by 2013 and consolidate our route network on the continent are thus well on course,” noted Dr. Naikuni.
The 5th Freedom Rights is offered under the UN Convention on International Civil Aviation’s ‘Freedoms of the Air.’ This refers to a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country's airline the privilege to land in another country, uplifting passengers to another destination with the flight originating or ending in the airline’s own country.
Kenya Airways will therefore offer services between Ouagadougou and Cotonou in neighboring Benin twice a week on Monday’s and Fridays.
Speaking at the same event, Minister for Transport Hon. Amos Kimunya commended Kenya Airways for the launch of the new route, noting that transport plays a major role in economic development.
“The launch of this new route is laudable because it complements the government’s efforts to grow bilateral trade and economic links with countries in West Africa. Kenya’s exports to West Africa are still quite low although we believe that there is vast potential for economic cooperation,” said Kimunya.
The Minster thanked the Governments of Burkina Faso and Benin for the 5th Freedom Rights to Kenya Airways and urged Kenyan businessmen to take up the opportunity to identify new markets and expand their export regimes.
Dr. Naikuni noted that Africa is acknowledged as the new frontier for growth with the continent recording increasing economic activity and trade. He added that Kenya Airways was seeking to diversify its route network throughout Africa in order to tap into the unique opportunities on this very diverse continent.
Ouagadougou is the 2nd destination that Kenya Airways has launched this year following the commencement of flights to Ndjamena in Chad last month. The airline plans to commence service to a further 6 destinations within Africa and the Middle East in the course of this financial year.