Kenya Airways announces plans to introduce direct flights from Nairobi to Milan
Kenya Airways has announced that it will offer direct flights from Nairobi to Milan. A statement from KQ confirmed that flights will begin from June 8. It is not yet clear how many flights the national carrier plans to fly to Milan.
This largely depends on the demand on the route. For starters, however, KQ is expected to fly two flights in a week. One takes place on Wednesday and the other on Sunday. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will also be used on both flights. The Dreamliner is a large airliner with 204 seats in economy class and 30 seats in business class.
The flight route revealed
Although Kenya Airways will technically fly direct to Milan, it won’t be that easy. According to the company, the first flight will depart from Milan’s Malpensa Airport. It will then make a connecting landing at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.
The flight then continues from Rome to Nairobi. However, the return flight will be more direct. KQ says the plane will depart Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and fly non-stop to Milan.
Kenya Airways expands presence in Europe
Kenya Airways has expanded its route over the years. However, it is in Europe where the national airline has established its presence. KQ is now operating several direct flights from Nairobi to a number of European cities.
These include the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, the French capital of Paris and London. Milan is just the latest in a long list. However, KQ did not say if there were any plans to offer more routes in Europe. However, as this is a lucrative market, it will be a major priority for the Kenyan national airline.
Improvement of the aviation sector
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive economic impact. Various sectors were affected, but undoubtedly the airline industry suffered the most. With flights grounded around the world, KQ struggled to even maintain its planes. There were even concerns that the national airline could file for bankruptcy.
But that appears to be water under the bridge. As most countries begin to ease COVID restrictions, the aviation sector is recovering. KQ hopes to use this new route expansion to improve revenue. The national airline also hopes these latest moves will help it continue its dominance as one of the most important airlines in Africa.
Debt burden and government bailout
Kenya Airways has been through a lot in recent years. First, the company collapses under a mountain of debt. According to the Wall Street Journal, KQ’s current debt is around $1.5 billion. The good news is that the Kenyan government’s efforts to bail out the ailing company have begun.
In fact, the Kenyan Treasury allocates millions of dollars each year to prop up the airline. Plans to nationalize the company were also shelved. This means that KQ can continue to operate and trade on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
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