Kenya Airways is commencing flights to Jeddah from Oct. 19

The airline will operate the route twice a week every Wednesday and Sunday on a Boeing 737-800.Kenyan Ambassador Mohamud Ali Saleh, who was present at the announcement on Tuesday, said the news demonstrated the strong trade ties between the Kingdom and his country.Aside from Haj and Umrah travelers from Kenya and the rest of Africa, the new service will benefit some 30,000 Kenyans living in Saudi Arabia  20,000 of them in the Western region alone and 2,000 Kenyan students pursuing religious education in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh and Jeddah.

About 5,000 Kenyans will be coming to perform Haj this year, the ambassador said, adding that the Haj quota given to Kenya should be raised as the country has 10 million Muslims out of a total population of 40 million.Kenya is just four hours from Jeddah by air and this should further boost business and leisure travelers from the Kingdom, especially as the country has Masai Mara, one of the world’s best known safari destinations, and its conservation of wildlife the ninth wonder of the world,” he said.

We grant visas for Saudis on the spot at our mission and for certain expatriates on arrival in Kenya,he added.Ali Kanoo, director at Kanoo Travel, the general sales agent for Kenya Airways, said:Kenya Airways, which had discontinued its services due to commercial reasons, is now coming online again to offer connectivity not just across Africa, but from Africa to the rest of the world through our Nairobi hub.Abraham Joseph, area manager of Kenya Airways for the GCC, Middle East and Pakistan, said: “The Middle East offers great potential for tourists heading for Kenya and we are confident that the new service will help boost the travel trade between the two countries.Joseph, who was accompanied by Syed Shahabuddin, sales manager, said Saudi Arabian Airlines was also operating two flights a week to Kenya and the carrier would look to increase this number to four once it reaches an agreement with Kenya Airways.

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