South African regional airline Airlink has announced that it is starting a major new international route, between Johannesburg and Nairobi, Kenya, next month. Airlink will become the first private-sector airline to operate on this route.

This will make Kenya the third East African country, and the fifteenth African country, served by Airlink. The new service will start operating on April 24, and will be operated daily.

“Airlink’s entry on the route supports last November’s agreement by Kenya and South Africa to eliminate trade barriers and strengthen commerce and economic ties by opening up business and cooperation between the two major economies in key sectors and markets,” explained airline CEO and MD Rodger Foster. “It also follows South Africa’s removal of visa requirements for Kenyans visiting South Africa for up to 90 days (South Africans do not require visas to visit Kenya).”

The carrier will operate the service using its 98-seat Embraer E190 jet airliners. The Johannesburg-Nairobi flights will be coded 4Z 070, and depart at 09h40, arriving in Nairobi at 14h45. The return flights will be coded 4Z 071 and leave Nairobi at 15h45, landing at Johannesburg at 19h05.

“This is also an important moment for Eastern-Southern Africa connectivity,” he highlighted. “With Airlink’s network now including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and most of the Southern Africa Development Community nations, we offer travellers the widest set of choices and convenient regional and intercontinental connections on our aircraft and with our global carrier partners. These enable the businesses and economies Airlink serves to expand their own respective market reach. Similarly, our competitive services will promote tourism in both markets, generating additional foreign travel spend.”

Airlink operates a fleet of 60 jet airliners and, over the past two years, according to Airports Company South Africa, has achieved an average on-time departure performance of 95.73%. It also operates flights to St Helena Island in the South Atlantic. It is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is accredited under the IATA Operational Safety Audit programme.

Source: Engineering News

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