Air India, the national airline of India, has announced that it plans to resume direct flights between Mumbai and Nairobi from September 27 2019. The Indian airline used to operate direct flights between India and Kenya in the past but discontinued them in 2010.
The airline is set to fly four times a week between Nairobi and Mumbai and this will cut the travel between the two cities from between 10 and 11 hours to about six hours.
Some of the key sectors that will benefit from the flight resumption include include tourism, agriculture, health and pharmaceuticals as well as education. Separately, a number of Kenyans travel to India for medical reasons, such as cancer treatment, transplant surgery and joint replacement. India is well known for affordable medical care.
Group Managing Director of PrideInn Group of Hotels, Hasnain Noorani weighed in on the new flights and said the development is a welcome boost for PrideInn as a majority of the hotel’s business guests from Asia are from South Asia. He added that “Shortened flight hours would also bring added benefits to the tourism industry. This direct flight is sure to boost tourism and trade in East Africa. Passengers from all around South Asia will now be able to take a short flight to Mumbai, make their connection and arrive in Nairobi or Mombasa nearly half the time that it previously took. This new flight opens up a number of opportunities not just for Kenya, but for other East African countries, as well. We expect this to boost the corporate market within Nairobi strengthening its position as a regional hub for corporate travel. Along with the direct route, the decision by Air India to resume flights has been well thought out.”