Kenya Airways to resume direct flights to Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya - A few days after Somalia formally joined the East Africa Community [EAC], Kenya Airways [KQ] announced the resumption of direct flights to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, months after the national carrier suspended trips to the Horn of Africa nation.
Starting in February 2024, KQ announced, that its aircraft would travel to Mogadishu, long after bilateral ties between the two countries were restored. A diplomatic fallout between the two countries had triggered the cancellation of flights to Mogadishu.
Besides the diplomatic fallout, the COVID-19 pandemic also triggered the suspension of flights to the country, coupled with insecurity challenges in Somalia. This forced many travellers to use the Ethiopia route while travelling to the country.
Julius Thairu, the Kenya Airways chief commercial and customer officer, said the move aligns with the increasing business and growing air travel between Kenya and Somalia. Kenya is a major security partner of Somalia.
“We are eager about the potential of re-establishing the link between Mogadishu and Nairobi through KQ. Kenya Airways is committed to providing high-quality service for our customers, as we work together to foster trade and investment for sustained growth.”
According to him, the resumption of flights to Somalia is part of the KQ network expansion strategy and commitment aimed at enhancing connectivity across the African continent to contribute to long-term economic progress. Ethiopia and Uganda Airlines have been travelling to Somalia, assisting many passengers.
Currently, Kenya is involved in a peacekeeping mission within Somalia under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] and is set to leave by December 2024. There has been relative stability in Somalia for the last 12 months following the offensive against Al-Shabaab militants.