Kenya Air­ways starts Mother City con­nec­tion

Tourists have Vic­to­ria Falls op­tion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - JAN CRONJE

A NEW air route link­ing Cape Town and Nairobi will boost busi­ness ties be­tween the West­ern Cape and Kenya, ac­cord­ing to Wes­gro, the prov­ince’s trade and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion agency.

Kenya Air­ways launched the route yes­ter­day. It will be op­er­ated by an Em­braer E190, with 12 busi­ness class seats and 84 econ­omy seats.

The route in­cludes a stopover in the tourist cen­tre of Liv­ing­stone, Zam­bia, near the world-fa­mous Vic­to­ria Falls.

Wes­gro chief ex­ec­u­tive Tim Har­ris said Kenya was the eighth largest buyer of West­ern Cape prod­ucts.

“By im­prov­ing ac­cess, Kenya could be­come an even more im­por­tant client,” he said

A num­ber of West­ern Cape busi­nesses have in­vested in the east African coun­try, in­clud­ing Wool­worths, Dis­tell, San­lam, Naspers and Old Mu­tual.

Har­ris said the route would also be pop­u­lar with hol­i­day­mak­ers.

“The route links three of Africa’s top tourist at­trac­tions – Cape Town, the Vic Falls and east African sa­faris, so we ex­pect a large per­cent­age of the pas­sen­gers to be tourists,” he said.

Cape Town is the sec­ond South African city to which Kenya Air­lines now flies; the car­rier also flies three times a day from Nairobi to Jo­han­nes­burg. The Nairobi-Liv­ing­stoneCape Town flight will op­er­ate three times a week, on Wed­nes­days, Fri­days and Sun­days.

Pas­sen­gers will de­part Nairobi at 7.20am, ar­riv­ing in Liv­ing­stone at 9.30am, be­fore de­part­ing at 10.20am for Cape Town.

The re­turn flight de­parts Cape Town at 1.25 pm for Liv­ing­stone, con­tin­u­ing on to Nairobi at 5.10pm.

Kenya Air­ways group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive Mbuvi Ngunze de­scribed the Mother City as a “des­ti­na­tion of choice for tourism and com­merce”.

“We be­lieve this ser­vice will serve to pro­vide con­ve­nient and re­li­able con­nec­tiv­ity that is crit­i­cal for in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Air­port gen­eral man­ager Deon Cloete said the route was a “vote of con­fi­dence” for the West­ern Cape.

“It’s won­der­ful to now be able to of­fer pas­sen­gers a con- nec­tion to Nairobi,” he said.

“We are in­creas­ingly see­ing Cape Town grow as a des­ti­na­tion, which is a win-win for us all.”

Cape Town In­ter­na­tional this week won the Routes Africa edi­tion of the Routes 2016 Mar­ket­ing Awards, an in­ter­na­tional award voted on by air­lines which recog­nises ex­cel­lence in air­port and des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing.

In a state­ment, Routes Africa said the air­port had shown strong growth re­cently, in­clud­ing new routes to Maun in Botswana, to Nairobi, as well as Bri­tish Air­ways and Thomas Cook Air­lines to Lon­don Gatwick, and a Lufthansa flight to Frank­furt.

The air­port had also in­creased the fre­quency if its flights op­er­ated by Emi­rates, Ethiopian Air­lines and KLM.

Cape Town In­ter­na­tional Air­port is now in the run­ning for the World Routes Awards, which take place in China in Septem­ber.

It is up against the win­ners of the other re­gional awards, which in­clude Am­s­ter­dam’s Schiphol, and Auck­land Air­port in New Zealand.

jan.cronje@inl.co.za

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