Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Boost for trade as Air India set for direct Mumbai-Nairobi flights

Air India is set to resume direct flights between Mumbai and Nairobi on November 27 following a two-month delay.

The direct flights were to begin on September 27 but were delayed to this month due to operational hitches.

“The planning for flights usually takes time and that is why there were operational delays. But all is now set for the flights this month with air tickets currently being sold...The maiden flight is scheduled to depart Mumbai for Nairobi at 6.25 am (local time),” said Indian’s High Commission to Kenya in a statement.

India’s national carrier is scheduled to fly four times a week between Nairobi and Mumbai and will cut travel time from between 10 and 11 hours to six hours. This will save travellers hours spent on flights that usually involve long layovers in Dubai, Middle East.

The commission notes that the flights are expected to shore up trade between India and Kenya as well as other East African Community countries.
Trade between India and Kenya is estimated at $2 billion annually.

According to 2018 data from India’s department of commerce, Kenya exports to India grew from $7.2 million to $137 million in 2017.

The data also indicates that India imports to Kenya went up from $1.974 billion in 2017 to $2.071 billion last year.

Air India used to operate directly between India and Kenya but later abandoned its operations.

Some of the key economic sectors that are expected to greatly benefit from the Mumbai-Nairobi direct flights include tourism, agriculture, health and pharmaceuticals as well as education.
19/11/19 Gerald Andae/Business Daily

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