Kenya's top tourism official has welcomed plans by Qatar Airways to increase its number of flights between Doha and Nairobi.
Beginning September 1,the airline will increase its A320 aircraft flights to 18 flights per week, up from the current 14 flights.
Phyllis Kandie, Kenya’s East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary, said; “The additional Qatar Airways flights is very good news for Kenya.
“From a business perspective, it will give increased passenger capacity which will positively contribute towards the economic growth of our country.
"For visitors, the increased availability to fly to Nairobi directly from the international hub of Doha enables passengers to reach our country with more ease than ever before. All of this contributes to the economic growth of Kenya and towards the achievement of our Vision 2030 goals.”
Clifford Christopher, country manager – Kenya for Qatar Airways, added: “As a travel destination, Nairobi has also grown in popularity over the last few years. Tourists from all over the world are increasingly flocking to the capital city as an entry point to Kenya and a gateway to East Africa."
Demand for transport to and from Nairobi has increased dramatically as a business and leisure hub for East and Central Africa, especially as a result of Kenya’s economic growth, up 4.8 percent since 2012.
As Kenya focuses on growing its arrivals to three million tourists per year by 2017, Qatar Airways increased passenger capacity will help to accelerate the achievement of this goal, he said.
Qatar Airways has so far launched six destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman) and Basra (Iraq).
Over the next few months, the network will expand with the addition of further destinations – Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (August 20), Chengdu, China (September 3), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27) and Philadelphia, USA (April 2014).