Sunday, April 5, 2009

Delta Air to start flights to Nairobi

Despite the ongoing gloom in the aviation sector, Delta Air is forging ahead with plans to launch flights between Kenya and the US this June.

The US -based carrier is expected to start flights on June 3 via Dakar to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Delta will ease travel between the two countries and help increase the number of tourists from the US.

Delta’s commercial manger for west and east Africa, Mr Bobby Bryan, said the new flights will ease connections between the two countries and also between Nairobi and Senegal. The airline was originally expected to begin flights mid last year but this was pushed to December 8 and finally to June, 2009.

The Boeing 767 flights will depart Nairobi every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays. The airline has been expanding its international routes between the US and Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. In Africa, it operates flights from Cairo, Accra, Dakar, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos. The airline is expected to help Kenya attract tourists from the US.

Major carriers

Despite arrivals from that country dropping by 25 per cent last year, the lineage of US President Barack Obama in Kenya is expected to help the country attract more tourists from the US. Major carriers like Virgin Atlantic, KLM, British Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airways and Qatar link Kenya to the US through the various hubs.

Delta Air is expected to offer less connection hustles and has started promoting the flight in the country by unveiling a special introductory fare of $1,789 (Sh143,120) inclusive of all taxes. But this fare will only be available on the Internet. Other players in the market are charging about $2,000 for a flight to the US.