Nairobi — Korean Air on Monday faced a barrage of criticism over a promotion gaffe that described Kenyan people as having primitive energy, three days before the airline started direct flights to Nairobi.
"Korean Air will launch 3 non-stop flight services per week from Incheon Korea to Nairobi, Kenya on June 21. Korean Air will become the first air carrier in Northeast Asia to extend flight services to Nairobi. Fly to Korean Air and enjoy the grand African Savanna, the safari tour, and the indigenous people full of primitive energy," read the promotion, which has since been removed.
Kenyans on Twitter, also known as #KOT were furious with the promotion, which they termed 'offensive.'
"@KoreanAir_KE just called us primitive people? I await an apology," tweeted @coldtusker.
"Maybe when these Koreans arrive we should have two gorillas at the run-way for them! That's some good primitive energy!," @KalimaniThaMc twitted.
Kenyans on Twitter (#KOT) have proceeded to ridicule the description by laughing at it and launching a trend #PrimitiveEnergy
"Thinking of lion hunting today and maybe some elephant baiting to deal with my #PrimitiveEnergy," said @wairimugk.
Kenyans are describing what they think are examples of 'primitive energy' in the day to day lives of the country's 40 million plus population.
Hilarious examples like uprooting rail tracks and putting a spoon of juice in the freezer to make it cold, are among the hundreds of tweets that have been coming in every few minutes.
As we look for comment from officials at Korean Air, here's a small sample of the tweets accompanied by a video showcasing monkeys, beautiful scenery, lions and the ever engaging Maasai.
Korean Air will on June 21 become the first airline that operates direct flights from Northeast Asia to Nairobi, the gateway to East Africa as well as the hottest destination in Central and South Africa.
Korean Air's new service to Nairobi will be operated by A330-200 aircraft with a total capacity of 226 seats.
KE959 will depart from Seoul Incheon every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 22:15 and will arrive in Nairobi at 05:30 on the next day. As for the return flight, KE960 will depart from Nairobi at 10:30 every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and will arrive in Seoul Incheon at 04:50 on the next day.
"The launch of Korean Air's nonstop service between Seoul Incheon and Nairobi is not only an exciting addition to the airline's global network, but also serves as a catalyst in facilitating travel between Northeast Asia and Africa. With only 13 hours of flying time, it will offer passengers the ultimate convenience in travelling between the two cities. The launch of this new route also means that both business and leisure travelers will be able to enjoy utmost comfort and ease during the journey travelling with Korean Air," said Korean Air's Managing VP for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Jaeho Kim.
Kenya is the center of East Africa where hundreds of renowned international companies and organizations are based in, including 120 foreign embassies, United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP), the United Nations Office and UN-Habitat.
Kenya is home to an array of tourist attractions. Nicknamed as the 'Safari Capital of the World', it has several national parks where visitors can experience an intimate and authentic wildlife and nature in broad grasslands such as Maasai Mara National Reserve..
Korean Air has been serving major destinations in Africa through code sharing with Kenya Airways, one of the SkyTeam alliance members.