German airline Lufthansa plans to resume direct passenger flights to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from late October after an 18-year absence from the Kenyan capital.
The airline will deploy an Airbus A340-300 between Frankfurt and Nairobi four times a week from October 27, raising this to five times from December 11 to cater for increased traffic during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
Until now, Lufthansa has relied on code-shared flights with partners Swiss and Brussels Airlines to connect their passengers to Nairobi.
Its subsidiary Lufthansa Cargo, however, has continued to offer four weekly flights from Nairobi, moving fresh flowers, horticultural produce and fish destined for Europe.
According to a statement from the airline released on Monday, “LH 590 will leave Frankfurt every morning on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (and on Fridays from December 11, 2015, to the end of January 2016) and will reach Nairobi in the evening after a journey of more than eight hours.
“The return aircraft will take off from Nairobi as a night flight in the late evening and lands the morning of the following day at Frankfurt airport.”
Lufthansa expects great interest and high demand especially among leisure travellers.
Return tickets are priced starting from EUR649 (about Sh71,350), with business, premium economy and economy class offerings to be introduced as part of a strategy to make use of older A340-300s on routes that cannot be sustainably served with Lufthansa’s current aircraft configurations.
Most passengers travelling from Frankfurt to Nairobi are currently flying Kenya Airways via other European points, RoutesOnline.com reports.
Condor, a Thomas Cook Airlines Group affiliate, also offered weekly or twice weekly year-round flights linking Frankfurt and Nairobi between November 2011 and October 2014 when terror-related concerns saw airlines cut back flights.