, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says there is no reason direct flights from Mogadishu to Nairobi should affect efforts to realise similar plans between Kenya and the United States.
Macharia says before the decision to allow direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu was taken, stakeholder awareness was carried out and no complaints have since been received.
“If there is anyone to complain to it is the government of Kenya and no such complaint has been received.”
Macharia says the only change is that the extra-security check that was carried out in Wajir will now be done by a “permanent” Kenyan security team in Mogadishu.
On top of that, he says, the Mogadishu airport is secured by the African Union Mission in Somalia.
It was after all, he pointed out, found to be the most secure place to hold elections for the Somali president and subsequent inauguration.
The first direct flight from Mogadishu to Nairobi landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Wednesday after 10 years of a stop-over in Wajir.
The flight which landed shortly after 1pm at the JKIA was received by Macharia and his Interior counterpart Joseph Nkaissery.
“Here in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, we have taken the necessary steps to ensure that all aircrafts are fully inspected so that the status of our airport is not compromised,” Nkaissery is quoted as saying by the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit.
Macharia on the other hand is reported as saying, “Various United Nations agencies operating out of Nairobi expressed satisfaction with the security measures put in place and support the re-opening of the route. UN agencies have been yearning for the resumption of direct flights in order to enhance their operations between Mogadishu and Nairobi.”
The resumption of the direct flights was announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he met his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Thursday last week at State House, Nairobi.