Nearly Two Decades Later Air France Returns to Kenya

By Jacquiline Wahu

Air France Boeing 787-9 maiden trip, after 18 years break, to Nairobi’s JKIA on March 26th 2018 marks a memorable day for the Kenyan skies.

The return of the French National Carrier shows the demand of access to Kenya’s Capital from other major cities in the world.

The new operations of Air France will serve three weekly flights to Nairobi from Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

By connecting France to Kenya, the company majorly targets a business clientele in the expanding economy of the Kenyan capital according to Frank Legre, Senior Vice President for Africa at Air France KLM Group.

At a press conference with the Kenyan press during the arrival of the inaugural flight, Frank highlighted that close to 80 French companies are currently based in Nairobi, a figure that is continually rising by the day.

This comes after a signed partnership with two other airlines including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways. This joint venture will enable travelers reserve flights operated on a code-share basis by one of the three airlines on round-trip services between Paris-Nairobi and Amsterdam-Nairobi offering 24 daily flights on the route.

The KLM General Manager East African, Arthur Dieffenthaler expressed the group’s excitement to be back and promised to offer the best of their products to Kenya and East African region.

Being a founding member of the Skyteam global airline alliance and a subsidiary of the Air France–KLM Group, the French Carrier adds to the key international airlines that have resumed flights to Kenya in the past years indicating increased travelers demand.

Coincidentally, two years ago German’s Lufthansa resumed its direct passenger flights to Nairobi after 18 years.

Last year, TUI Netherlands was yet another airline to make a comeback after 3 years suspension of its operations to Kenya. The Dutch-based Airline returned to book travelers three weekly KLM flights for a tourist’s package.