SkyTeam alliance member Kenya Airways has inaugurated flights between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi International Airport. The carrier launched a three times weekly link on July 1, 2013 which will complement its existing then times weekly route to Dubai and follows the recent signing of a codeshare arrangement between the airline and Etihad Airways. The route is flown using a dual-class, 145-seat Boeing 737-800.
The inaugural flight, which hosted the Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director, Dr Titus Naikuni, and a cabinet member of the Kenyan Government, was welcomed with a water cannon salute and a ribbon cutting ceremony which was attended by Eng. Ahmad Al Haddabi, chief operations officer of ADAC, and H.E Ambassador Mohamed Gello, Kenyan ambassador to the UAE.
According to Dr Naikuni the new route will provide a “vital connection” between Africa and the Middle East leveraging on the relationship with Etihad Airways. “These flights are intended to add value to our customers by provding improved connections and more choices of travel into other parts of the Middle East, Dr Naikuni told The HUB while attending yesterday’s (July 7, 2013) opening day of the Routes Africa forum in Kampala, Uganda.
“The new destination is an effort to continually enhance travel options to customers and is part of our partnership with Etihad Airways. Now, our customers from Africa will enjoy the ease of connecting via Abu Dhabi to the rest of the world,” he added.
Commenting on the launch, Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi International Airport operator ADAC, said: “The new connectivity between two major regions will contribute towards Abu Dhabi International Airport’s growth as an international hub and will enable the airport to act as the Middle East’s gateway to Africa.”