A Kenya Airways Boeing 787 in London (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson) Kenya Airways has been granted the green light to introduce three weekly flights connecting Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, with Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. The new route will be subject to permission by the Sudanese government to fly over its airspace.
Kenya Airways was previously scheduled to begin the new Nairobi to Tel Aviv services back in March 2019, but due to the political feud between Sudan and Israel the airline halted its plans with Sudan banning flights to and from Israel from its airspace.
The company’s chairman Michael Joseph said, “We have noted some news about overfly rights and we will review our plans. I don’t know when we can start but we are evaluating the possibility,” speaking to Business Daily .
El Al, the Israeli flag carrier, was granted the green light to fly over the Sudanese airspace last Saturday after successful reconciliation between the two countries.
The Kenyan national flag carrier will join RwandAir as the second East African airline to offer its services to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
Kenya has a great deal in trade with Israel with an estimate of $104 million in export, according to data from 2015.
Israel halted nonstop flights to Kenya back in 2002 following a terror attack in Mombasa against an Israeli-owned hotel and an airplane belonging to Arkia, the then Israeli flag carrier.
Kenya’s national airline has been undergoing a restructuring process that has not yet been fruitful with the immediate former CEO Sebastian Mikosz exiting the troubled airline in the wake of 2020.
The airline is a public-private company that is owned partially by the Kenyan government with 48.9 percent shares, 38.1 percent of the shares owned by lenders while KLM owns 7.8 percent of the shares.
Kenya Airways offers its services to 53 destinations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and the US.. with a fleet of forty aircraft. The airline was proposed by the lawmakers to be nationalized, a bid that will put the SkyTeam alliance member in a “level playing field,” especially with its main rival, Ethiopian Airlines.