Vietnam launches first direct air-route to Africa

The first direct flights from Hanoi to Kenya will take about nine hours, instead of nearly 14 hours as before.

Direct air route from Hanoi to Kenya launched

The direct flight from Nairobi (Kenya) to Hanoi was announced by Kenya Airways on March 31. This is the first airline to open a direct route linking Vietnam to Africa with three flights a week from Nairobi to Hanoi, by Boeing 787-800 aircraft.

Mbuvi Ngunze, Managing Director of Kenya Airways, said with the new route, passengers will save two hours flying to Bangkok and 2.5 hours for transit procedures. “Passengers will take only 9 hours to Nairobi, then 1-1.5 hours to get to other places on the continent,” he added.

Kenya Airways official said the direct flights between Hanoi to Nairobi will be a lever to promote tourism and business between the two countries.

Taking four years to study the route, Kenya Airways said with a population of 7 million and an average income of $3,000 a year, Hanoi residents will want to explore new destinations, including Africa. Vietnam is also growing strongly; thus opening a direct route will help the two economies to exploit the huge commercial opportunity.

“Vietnam is a new destination for African traders, replacing China, so this will be an attractive trade route. We see great interest on this route, especially between Angola and Vietnam because of the large labor movement,” he said.

Diana Kiambuthi, representative of Kenya Embassy, said the route will be a catalyst for promoting tourism, and business, and that it would open up many opportunities for trade between the two sides.

“Now traveling has become more convenient. Kenya has also worked with Vietnam to promote the signing of cooperation agreements, to provide an opportunity for the two sides to open investment opportunities,” she said.

Kenya Airways was founded in 1977, carrying more than 3 million passengers per year. Hanoi is its 52nd destination.


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