Nairobi — Emirates airlines is increasing its services to three of its destinations in South East Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, in a move that is expected to boost Kenya's trade and tourism ties with the Asian economic giants.
There will be an increase in the number of flights on the Dubai to Kuala Lumpur route from three daily to 25 a week starting December 3, which will increase to 26 a week from February 6.
Starting January 1, Emirates will introduce a third daily, non-stop flight to Philippines' capital, Manila; with a third daily, non-stop service beginning on March 1 to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Emirates' Vice President for East Africa Khalid Bel Jaflah said that the extra daily flights will increase capacity on the Jakarta and Manila routes by 50 percent, and boost tourism and trade between Kenya and Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and beyond.
Kenya is Malaysia's sixth largest trading partner in Africa after South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria and Mauritius and exports mainly exports soda ash, marine products, tea, tobacco, lime and cement to the Asian country.
Currently, the two countries are considering an MOU in education, trade, tourism and Information, Communications and Technology transfers.
Kenya's exports to Indonesia include black tea, sisal fibre, tobacco and cut flowers, while imports from Indonesia include crude palm oil, furniture, machinery/ transport equipment, textiles and apparels.
Similarly, the Philippines and Kenya have forged a historic agreement to strengthen ties between both countries under a Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) signed recently, which allows Manila and Nairobi to meet on a regular basis to explore ways to broaden and strengthen political, economic, scientific, technical, social and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
Starting December 3, the extra four flights a week to Kuala Lumpur will operate on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with the flight on a Wednesday beginning on February 6, 2013.
The third daily service to Manila will be operated by one of Emirates' Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, in the same two-class configuration, 42 Business Class lie-flat seats and 386 Economy Class seats, as the current double-daily service.
Cargo will also receive an impetus, with an extra 161 tonnes of capacity introduced per week on the Jakarta and Manila routes and an extra 85 tonnes per week on the Kuala Lumpur service.