The airline is looking to establish strong ties to Vietnam.
Kenya Airways has opened its 52nd direct route worldwide and 43rd across Asia. The carrier will fly the Boeing 787-800 three times per week from Nairobi to Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi.
The launch of this new route is part of the company's strategy to connect Africa and Asia. "Vietnam has had stable and significant economic growth in recent years, including growth in trade with Africa," said Mr. Mbuvi Ngunze, Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Airways. "Our direct flight to Hanoi will offer easy connectivity for business and leisure travellers and will open up trade opportunities between the two fast-growing regions." Kenya Airways sees potential in connecting Vietnam to Africa and other parts of the world through the company's growing network, according to Mr. Ngunze.
They hope to establish a closer relationship between Africa and Asia, mainly in the field of tourism and the exchange of labor. Now is an ideal time to open the route as demand is increasing and the infrastructure in both Vietnam and Africa are significantly improved. It also helps save time for businessmen and tourists.
To support and develop this route, Kenya Airways will coordinate closely with Vietnam Airlines, a member of Sky Team. Thus they will be able to serve further routes to other Asian destinations like Japan, Malaysia, Korea and China. The carrier is also working with Vietnam Airlines to understand market needs in Ho Chi Minh City, with the goal of establishing another direct route to Kenya.
Mr. Ngunze hopes that the Vietnamese market will contribute about 10 per cent of the carrier's total revenue globally. As of now, its total revenue is around $1.1 million per year. In the last two years, the company has invested $3 billion in buying new jets and upgrading older models for use in new routes.