INTRODUCTION Thousands of people were on hand to welcome the arrival of Kenya's first national airline at Nairobi airport on Saturday (5 February).
INTRODUCTION Thousands of people were on hand to welcome the arrival of Kenya's first national airline at Nairobi airport on Saturday (5 February). The first flight carried passengers from London, aboard a leased Boeing 707.
SYNOPSIS: Kenya Airways was established after the suspension last week of the debt-crippled East African Airways (EAA). The EAA -- jointly owned by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda -- grounded its flights because it could not afford to buy fuel. The government said the new airline will provide international and domestic services. Meanwhile the East African Airways aircraft remain grounded at Nairobi airport.
Dr. Njoroge Mungai, Chairman of the Nairobi branch of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), addressed enthusiastic crowds awaiting the landing of the new aircraft. According to officials the new airline's booking office was flooded with people eager to book future flights with the new airline. After landing the airliner was to take off for Mombasa on the Indian Ocean coast. It was due to return from there later on Saturday with another load of passengers before leaving for London later in the evening.
British Midland Airways, the independent scheduled airline, is providing Kenya Airways with two Boeing 707 jets to re-open routes linking the East African country with Europe. Kenya has also begun negotiations with the British Aircraft Corporation in hopes of acquiring EAA's four Super VC-10 'planes now grounded at Nairobi airport.
As a result of the new enterprise Tanzania has closed its border with Kenya and banned all Kenya-registered 'planes from flying over its territory. This latest move by the Tanzanian government indicates the deteriorating relations between the two East African neighbours. Although the Kenyan border controls were still open, no one was being allowed into or out of Tanzania.