China Southern Airlines has launched its first ever route to Africa mainland from its main hub with the commencement of flights from Guangzhou (CAN) to Nairobi (NBO) in Kenya, launching a regular service between the two cities.
Passengers aboard the maiden flight CZ633 receive a warm reception at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport-1 Photo credit - Elijah Miano (KAA)
The airline’s A330-200 touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 07:00 in the morning on  Wednesday 5 August, having departed from the SkyTeam carrier’s biggest base at 00:45. 

The new service will have a frequency of three flights a week (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) under the airline’s own code; However, under a code-share with Kenya Airways, both airlines will provide 20 flights per week on the new route, making it more convenient for passengers on transit to and from other African countries to China, South East Asia, North East Asia and Australasia through its extensive route network.

On landing at JKIA, the airline’s A330-200 was received with water cannons and welcomed by KAA Board Director, Nicholas Bodo, who was representing the acting Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure James Macharia; Kenya Airports Authority’s Board Chairman, Rtd. IG David Kimaiyo, Kenya Airways Mr. Evanson Mwaniki, KAA Ag. MD, Mr. Yatich Kagungo and Kenya Airways Managing Director Mbuvi Ngunze.

Si Xianmin, China Southern Airlines Chairman commented, “We are happy to open our second direct air route to Africa, having launched our first one between Shenzhen and Mauritius last year. We are also excited to share a code with Kenya Airways on this new route. We hope our additional flights will provide our guests with convenience, besides increasing the number of business and leisure travelers into Africa and Asia.”

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Hon. Phyllis Kandie, said the country is delighted to welcome China’s largest airline to Kenya and applauds the decision that follows a successful MOU on tourism between the two countries last year. “It is with great pleasure that I welcome China’s largest airline to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, (JKIA)” said Kandie adding “Direct flights from any country bring increased trade and tourism, the growth of which from China into Kenya is set to continue.”

China Southern Airlines anticipates sustained growth in traffic to and from Asia owing to Kenya’s strategic position on the continent with Nairobi already entrenched as a major commercial and transportation hub.

·         Although China Southern does not face any direct competition on the route, Kenya Airways (which is also a member of the SkyTeam alliance) operates daily flights between Nairobi and Guangzhou, but with an intermediate stop in either Hanoi (on three days of the week) or Bangkok (on four days of the week).

China Southern Airline is the largest airline in the People’s Republic of China with the largest fleet, most developed route network, and largest number of passengers carried. In 2014, it carried over 100 million, ranking China Southern Airlines first in Asia and third worldwide.

Source: KAA,

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