Brussels Airlines again flies to Nairobi

A direct flight to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, took off from Brussels Airport yesterday morning. Brussels Airlines is offering the route again for the first time in just under a decade.

“Brussels Airlines is Lufthansa Group’s Africa expert,” said Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Brussels Airlines, at the launch. “Except for Washington and New York, all our long-haul flight destinations are in Africa. We want to remain committed to the African continent in the future, primarily on providing more direct flights to the existing destinations.”

50,000 tickets sold already

Between 2002 and 2015, Brussels Airlines already offered flights between Nairobi and Brussels, but the connection was canceled following its takeover by the Lufthansa Group, which took over the flight itself. Now, the direct flight, which takes 8 hours and 15 minutes, is once again a possibility.

Tourists are increasingly finding their way to Kenya, and the diplomatic and business world is also important there, partly because Nairobi houses the United Nations headquarters in Africa. People going to visit friends and family are also a significant proportion of passengers.

The sales figures show that some 50,000 tickets have already been sold since the flights were launched in October.

Six flights a week

Nairobi is Brussels Airlines’ eighteenth destination in Sub-Saharan Africa. It offers six flights a week in the summer, including two ‘triangular’ flights that go via Kigali in Rwanda and four flights a week during the winter.

Travel to Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for about 20% of all Brussels Airlines passengers and 40% of the airline’s total revenue. Brussels is, therefore, to become even more the Lufthansa Group’s African hub.

Moreover, Brussels Airlines’ African network is profitable. According to the business newspaper De Tijd, Brussels Airlines books almost as much turnover with its ten current long-haul aircraft as it does with the more than 40 aircraft on its European destinations.


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