September 17, 2008

Writethru: Kenya Airways to Fly Direct to Antananarivo From November

Writethru: Kenya Airways to fly direct to Antananarivo from November

NAIROBI, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ), said Tuesday it will start direct flights to the Madagascan capital, Antananarivo, from November this year.

The airline's communication manager, Victoria Kaigai, said the flights will reduce travel time by more than 50 percent, if connection time is factored.

Currently, flights from Nairobi to Antananarivo pass via Johannesburg, South Africa, with travelers taking, on average, seven- hours to arrive in Antananarivo.

"We will provide a direct connection to travellers from Africa and beyond to Madagascar. We expect the flight to be popular because of the less flying hours involved," said Kaigai in a statement.

Kaigai said the new destination is in line with the KQ strategy to connect Africa through the hub and spook concept.

The Madagascar route is viewed by Kenya Airways as especially useful for the French tourism connection. KQ flies three times a week to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France.

In addition, the route will provide an opportunity for Kenyans to exploit Madagascar as an alternative tourism destination.

The direct flight to Madagascar comes at a time when the airline is in the process of adding modern planes on its 27 modern fleet, composing 23 Boeing planes and three Embraer 170 Long Range (LR) jets, to expand capacity.

Kaigai said the domestic routes in Kenya would be effectively served to offer travelers more time to connect to other destinations while creating more travel frequencies.

This year, KQ has taken delivery of a third Embraer and its third Boeing 737-800 ER.

The airline is scheduled to take delivery of two additional Boeing 737-800s later in the year, bringing the total number of B737- 800 in the fleet to five.

(c) 2008 Xinhua News Agency - CEIS. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.