With last week’s launching of Kenya Airways’ direct flights from Nairobi to Livingstone, Zambia, the airline is a step closer to its goal of flying to every African capital by 2016.
Livingstone is Kenya Airways’ 60th destination and its third in Zambia after Lusaka and Ndola. Of its 60 destinations, more than 40 are in Africa, according to a report in Travel Blackboard.
The launch of the direct flights to Livingstone comes as Zambia prepares to co-host the U.N. World Tourism Organisation with Zimbabwe. The new connection will ease delegates’ travel, said Sylvia Masebo, Zambia’s Minister for Tourism and Arts, in the report.
“Do not ignore Africa,” said Titus Naikuni, CEO of Kenya Airways, at the launch. “It is a huge economy. The day we have free travel within Africa is the day that we will reap the benefits of domestic tourism.”
Also present at the event were Felix Chaila, managing director of Zambia Tourism Board and Muriithi Ndegwa, managing director of the Kenya Tourism Board.
Direct flights to Livingstone would provide connectivity to the iconic Victoria Falls, located within the city, Chaila said.
“The problem in Africa’s tourism sector is that the market is too dependent on the Western market that goes to sleep in winter,” he said in the report. “In Africa there is no seasonality, and we need to tap into this market.”
He noted that the airline is interconnected with the tourism sector, adding that the surge in the number of airlines flying into the country would grow tourists.
Kenya Airways now flies three times weekly – Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays – between Livingstone and its hub at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi via Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe, according to Travel Blackboard.