Capital FM (Nairobi)

13 June 2012

Kenya: KQ London Flights Increase As Olympics Near

Nairobi — Kenya Airways (KQ) has increased flights to London Heathrow to cater for the traffic demand during the Olympics.

Beginning next month, KQ will fly to London 10 times per week on the 322-seater Boeing 777-200.

Europe will get an additional capacity boost, despite the suspension of Rome flights, with Paris flights increasing to six weekly during the July and August peak period as well as the daily Amsterdam capacity which will be upgraded to a Boeing 777-200.

The changes are part of the airline's revamped summer schedule that has also introduced an extra flight to Dubai, to operate three times a week with late evening departures from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. This will be an addition to the daily Dubai service.

KQ has also suspended its flights to Muscat and Rome effective immediately until further notice due to capacity optimisation across the network.

In West and Central Africa, KQ has combined all Lagos daytime flights to Accra as KQ 534 operating Nairobi - Lagos - Accra - Nairobi, which will now be flying into Accra 12 times a week and nine times a week to Lagos.

The introduction of wide-body capacity into and out of Lagos and Accra is set to have significant impact on Kenya Airways' passenger and cargo revenue streams as it will enable it to offer more capacity and minimum connecting time between Guangzhou, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Dubai, Mumbai and West Africa.

Kenya Airways has also increased frequencies to Ndjamena, now flying non-stop three times a week. Flights to Dakar will now connect through Ouagadougou (OUA) thus increases flights to OUA to three times a week.

Bamako flights will operate via Cotonou three times a week, which is expected to ease out on the payload issues that the Bamako passengers have experienced in the past.

To Mumbai, KQ has increased from daily operations to 10 flights a week and three flights weekly to Delhi.

The Middle East region will benefit from the extra frequency added on the Jeddah flights to three times weekly effective July 2012.

The optimised schedule comes as the airline moves to increase frequencies on existing routes to meet changing and growing demand while opening new routes in Africa and the Middle East.

On the domestic market, passengers to Kisumu City have more travel options with the introduction of an extra frequency over the weekends to four times daily.

On specific weekdays the airline will maintain its three flights daily, while the Embraer E190 will be deployed on the route especially in the mornings and evenings.

Kenya Airways Group Managing Director, Titus Naikuni said the decision to halt operations on certain routes was also based on insufficient demand to sustain the routes.

"Owing to the decreased passenger volumes on these routes, we have decided to re-align our capacity across the entire network to meet growing demand on other destinations including new ones," Naikuni said.

The new destinations being launched between July and October 2012 include Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Eldoret (Kenya), Abuja (Nigeria) and Beirut (Lebanon).

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