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Etihad launches first passenger route to East Africa

[From left to right] John Chirchir from Kenya Tourism Board, Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner and HE Abdul Razak Mohamed Hadi Al Awadi, UAE Ambassador to Kenya, celebrating the airline’s first flight to East Africa. (Image source: Etihad Airways)

Etihad Airways has launched it first passenger service to East Africa as part of its continent-wide expansion

An Etihad 136-seat, two-class A320 aircraft touched down in Kenya earlier this week at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) following a near five-hour flight from Abu Dhabi.

The daily passenger route will operate alongside the airline’s five freight-only flights per week to Nairobi, which were first flown in early 2009.

“We are delighted to introduce Etihad Airways to East Africa. This year will see considerable growth for us within Africa as a whole, as we observe strong and emerging markets across the continent,” said Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer James Hogan.

“This new route services the considerable and growing flow of people and capital between Kenya and North Asia, with major Chinese investment in Africa generating passenger demand in both directions.”

The latest addition to Etihad’s network forms part of the Abu Dhabi carrier’s expansion into Africa, with the airline set to touch down in West Africa with the introduction of flights to Nigeria in July 2012, building on existing services to Egypt, South Africa, Libya, Morocco and Sudan.

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