Indigo Air, India’s preferred airline, has officially commenced its direct flights between Mumbai-India and Nairobi, enhancing the air travel experience for passengers traveling between the two cities.
The inaugural flight which had 173 passengers on board arrived at the Jomo Kenya International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi at 9:12 HRS today marking a significant milestone in India and Kenya relations.
The launch of the route marks Indigo’s Air’s entry into the African Continent with Nairobi serving as the 27th international and 105th overall destination in the 6E network.
Speaking during the flight reception, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Wildlife and Heritage Peninah Malonza welcomed the new flight adding that it would significantly bolster tourism and economic growth through increased travel and business opportunities between the two countries.
“The government of Kenya appreciates IndiGo Air for putting Kenya in its network of destinations. The launch of this direct flight between Mumbai and Nairobi marks a pivotal milestone in the long-standing friendship between our two great nations. This strategic air link will foster increased business collaboration, cultural exchange, and tourism opportunities, serving as a bridge to bring our countries even closer together” she said
She added that tourism plays a vital role Kenya’s economy and that the ministry anticipates a surge in tourist arrivals from India following the launch of the new route. “Kenya’s diverse wildlife, breath-taking landscapes, and rich cultural heritage will now be more accessible to Indian travellers, offering them unique and unforgettable experiences. The Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Heritage will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to attract international tourist arrivals from India and other parts of the world into the country” added Malonza
On his part, Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen emphasized the government’s commitment to improving air travel and infrastructure across Kenya. He stated, “As part of our aviation development policy, we aim to create a more accessible and efficient air travel network within Kenya and beyond. Indigo Air’s direct flights between Mumbai and Nairobi aligns perfectly with this vision, enabling seamless connectivity and enhancing the overall travel experience for our citizens and visitors alike. “Said the CS.
He added that the flight opens up a new gateway into Africa for Indian travellers noting that India and Kenya enjoy strong bilateral ties and the flight would expand Kenya’s markets for Tourism and Trade.
“Kenya continues to build strong strategic relations with many of our partners including India. With India being a key source market for tourism and trade this direct flight marks a significant milestone in intensifying our partnership. This flight service is a welcome development as it will provide an option for our visitors from India who have been looking forward to experiencing Kenya, doing business and visiting family and friends” Said CS Murkomen
The Indian travel market has been a major player in Kenya’s tourism sector, with arrivals into the country from the South Asian nation recording a growth of 93 per cent up from 42,159 in 2021 to 81,458 in 2022. This was a recovery of 67 per cent compared to the 2019 performance of 120,893.
Mr. Pieter Elbers, Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are thrilled to commence our maiden flight between Mumbai and Nairobi, symbolising our arrival in the African subcontinent. First time for IndiGo touching the African soil and we could not have chosen a better location to do so.
Kenya, known for its ethereal wildlife beauty and historical landmarks, is intent on enhancing its economic growth through tourism, cultural exchange, and collaboration in various fields.
This aligns with our overall vision of providing accessibility and connecting people with places. This new route further enhances connectivity in the region as envisioned in IndiGo’s international growth strategy.”