Kenya Airways starts direct flights from Nairobi to Somalia

Africa
By Xinhua , Kenya

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Kenya Airways on Tuesday launched its daily direct flights from Nairobi to the Somali capital Mogadishu, a move that is expected to boost trade between the two nations.

Aircraft Leasing Services (ALS), a Kenyan company that provides insurance and air leasing services to other airlines, will operate on behalf of Kenya Airways under a wet lease arrangement.

"We look forward to facilitating more commerce opportunities to and from Somalia with this new route," said Sebastian Mikosz, Kenya Airways chief executive officer, in a statement issued in Nairobi.

He said the new route now eases travel for thousands of Somalis who live in Kenya as well as those from the diaspora traveling to their native country.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Somalia is one of the largest export markets for Kenya. In 2017, Kenya's exports to Somalia increased 33.5 percent to 10.7 billion Kenyan shillings (about 107 million U.S. dollars).