NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
French national carrier, Air France, announced on Friday it will
launch two additional weekly flights to Kenya’s capital Nairobi from April as
part of expansion into African network.
Arthur Dieffenthaler, Air
France general manager for eastern Africa region said the move will also benefit
French and Kenyan companies especially in horticulture, pharmaceuticals and
other businesses that depend on air transport.
"We will be increasing our flights on the Paris-Nairobi route to five flights
a week and we are confident that we will continue this growth in the coming
years," Dieffenthaler said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The airline official said increased flights between Charles de Gaulle Airport
and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is part of the airline’s strategy to
expand its African network.
Air France last year resumed flights to Nairobi after an 18-year hiatus.
This month marks its 1st anniversary since resuming the route.
"Our partnership with KQ has been mutually fruitful with demand growing and
also from exchange of aviation knowledge on the European and African markets,"
The airline official was speaking during an event that brought together
French companies in Kenya, organized by the French Chamber of Commerce ahead of
the state visit to Kenya by the French President, Emmanuel Macron.
He added that following resumption of flights to Nairobi, the airline has
seen increased demand attributable to growing trade between Kenya and France.
The latter also ranks among Kenya’s most significant tourism markets.
"Immediately we resumed flights on the Paris-Nairobi route, we recorded
higher bookings with our partner Kenya Airways.
"Our return to this market signifies the confidence we have in strengthened
ties between Kenya and France," Dieffenthaler said.
Air France also entered into a joint venture partnership with Kenya Airways (KQ)
The two airlines will jointly operate 12 flights a week on the Nairobi-Paris
route. Air France also operates a cargo flight into Kenya.