Etihad Airways postpones return of Abu Dhabi-Nairobi flights

Passengers board an Etihad Airways aircraft at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Etihad Airways has pushed forward plans to re-introduce passenger flights on the Abu Dhabi-Nairobi route from May to June, citing reasons beyond their control.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said in a notice to its customers that the flights would resume on June 1, 2024, and not on May 1 as was earlier planned.

While the airline did not disclose reasons for the postponement, industry sources have attributed the change of date to delays in getting regulatory approvals and bad weather.

"Unfortunately, Etihad Airways flights to and from Nairobi have been postponed until June 1, due to reasons outside our control. Etihad sincerely apologises for any inconveniences this causes," the airline told its customers in a statement Tuesday night.

The airline said it is committed to resuming flights between the United Arab Emirates capital and Nairobi, assuring passengers that this would start in a month.

Etihad stopped operating on the route in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

When it resumes, the flights will restore commercial non-stop passenger connections between the two cities, and travellers from Kenya will be able to connect through Etihad flights to the US, Europe, India and South-East Asia.

Africa has become a lucrative market for Middle East carriers looking to connect passengers to the rest of the world.

Apart from Etihad Airways, Dubai-based Emirates has been expanding aggressively taking market share from African carriers including Kenya Airways.

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