Airlink brings choice on Nairobi-Johannesburg sector

In Summary

Privately owned South African carrier Airlink has announced a new daily service from Johannesburg to Nairobi, […]

Privately owned South African carrier Airlink has announced a new daily service from Johannesburg to Nairobi, starting April 24; bringing much needed competition on a route, where Kenya Airways has been the only direct operator since 2020.

Airlink chief executive Rodger Foster announced the new service today, sayingis airline’s entry on the route was a response to ongoing liberalisation of trade between Kenya and South under a cooperation agreement the two countries signed in November 2021. Pretoria removed visa requirements for Kenyans visiting up to 90 days, while south Africans don’t require visas to enter Kenya. Their respective flag carriers -Kenya Air and South African Airways also signed a pact to jointly develop a pan-African carrier.

“Our competitive services will promote tourism in both markets, generating additional foreign travel spend,” Foster said.

Kenya becomes Airlink’s 15th country in the carrier’s growing sub-Saharan Africa network, and the third in in East Africa after Tanzania and Uganda. It will be served daily using a 98-seat Embraer E190 jet. Flight 4Z 070 on the outbound leg will leave Johannesburg at 09.40 central African time, touching down in Nairobi four hours later at 14.45 East African time. The return flight 4Z 071, will depart Nairobi at 15.45, arriving in Johannesburg at 19.05.

Foster did not reveal introductory fares but according to the fare-matching site Travelstart; an economy class seat on Airlink out of Nairobi will cost USD550, for travel on April 27, while the corresponding fare on Kenya Air ways will be USD 623.

Indirect options out of Nairobi on the same day include Uganda Airlines at a round-trip fare of USD 374 for a one-way journey time lasting 25 hours and 25 minutes. The lowest fare on Ethiopian which has three flights to Johannesburg on the same date will be USD 330 for a journey time lasting 6 hours and twenty minutes. Tanzania carrier Precision Air will charge USD595 for a journey time of 11hours and ten minutes. Egyptair will be the most expensive, costing USD 622 and a journey time of 26 hours.

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