, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 22 – The inaugural Korean Air direct flight from Seoul in South Korea touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta international Airport on Friday morning, to a rousing welcome by government officials and the tourist fraternity in Kenya.
Tourism Minister Dan Mwazo led the team that received the plane carrying 362 passengers, including Chang Hoon Chi, the President and Chief Operating officer of Korean Air and Kenya’s Ambassador to Korea Ngovi Kitau.
Welcoming the passengers, Minister Mwazo said the introduction of direct flights between the Northeast Asian country and Kenya, is a welcome development for tourism, trade and inter-government relations.
The Minister added that this will be complemented by the fact that Korean Air and Kenya Airways have a code share agreement through the Star Alliance, making it very convenient for visitors from the Northeast Asian countries to travel to the rest of the continent.
“The three direct Korean Air flights in Nairobi are very timely, being that Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is a strategic regional hub that connects Africa to the rest of the World,” he explained.
It will take passengers 13 hours to connect between Seoul and Nairobi, which is a 50 percent reduction relative to the time that passengers used to take between the two countries in the past.
Addressing the media at the airport, the President and Chief Operating officer of Korean Air, Chang Hoon Chi said they are honoured to start operating flights to Nairobi.
Chi said: “It is a great occasion for us. We are honoured to be part of the developments that will boost business between Kenya and Asia”.
Korean Air’s new service to Nairobi will be operated by A330-200 aircraft with a total capacity of 226 seats. KE959 will depart from Seoul Incheon every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 22:15 and will arrive in Nairobi at 05:30 on the next day. As for the return flight, KE960 will depart from Nairobi at 10:30 hour every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and will arrive in Seoul Incheon at 04:50 hour on the next day.