Moroccan airline plans direct flights to Nairobi

Direct flights will soon be introduced between Nairobi and Casablanca following the signing of a trade agreement between Kenya and Morocco.
The flights are seen as one way of deepening trade between the two countries which signed the agreement putting the plan on the radar in Nairobi Monday.

Kenyans currently travelling to Casablanca fly via Dubai or Europe owing to a missing link for direct flights.

Speaking at the signing, Morocco Minister of Industry and Trade Abdelkader Amara said Royal Air Maroc would introduce direct flights to Nairobi by the end of the year.

The flights are aimed at reducing the cost of transportation incurred when connecting to the destination. The volume of trade between the two countries fell 80 per cent to Sh8 million last year. 

This was attributed to lack of structures to support trade. The countries are now betting on the new pact to strengthen links and boost trade.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Amina Mohamed speaking at the function asked a delegation of Moroccan investors to set up shop in Kenya which she said has a robust institutional framework to support commerce.

Ms Mohamed said the country was an economic hub in the region as a result of recent investment undertakings in ICT, energy, tourism and financial services sectors.

“The recent discovery of oil in northern Kenya points to a petro-dollar economy in the near future, a great leap forward that will underwrite Kenya’s position as the regional economic hub,” she said.  

The delegation of 106 Moroccan investors that witnessed the signing of the deal was particularly keen on investing in the country’s energy, agriculture and pharmaceutical sectors. Its leader said investors would also be interested in partnering with the government to set up a fertiliser factory and tap into the wind energy sector.

Kenya is on a charm offensive to improve trade relations with countries in the North and West Africa in a bid to grow exports and reduce the current account deficit.