Brussels Airlines resumes direct flights to Nairobi kenya: What this means for Kenyans

Belgium’s Brussels Airlines has resumed direct flights to Nairobi after a nine-year hiatus.On Monday, June 3, 2024, a direct flight from Brussels took off from Zaventem Airport and landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the evening.

Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok highlighted that the six weekly flights are bolstered by Kenya’s visa-free entry policy and Nairobi’s strategic role as a regional hub.

“Our government has facilitated entry through a visa-free regime. Now, travelers only need to complete an eTA form, and within five minutes, they can be on their way to Kenya,” said PS Bitok.

Bitok noted that 200 passengers on the inaugural flight received express travel authorization, enhancing Kenya’s appeal as a tourist destination.

“Their eTAs were processed swiftly, and they are now here in Kenya. This country is safe and beautiful, and we welcome tourists from around the world,” added Bitok.

State Department for Transport PS Mohamed Daghar stated that this development reflects the robust ties between Kenya and the European Union, following a recent trade agreement.

“This highlights our cooperation with the European Union. Strengthening the relationship between Kenya and the EU is crucial. The recent EU trade agreement is a significant milestone,” said PS Daghar.

Brussels Airlines aims to attract both leisure and business travelers, with an increasing number of tourists visiting Kenya.

The airline also hopes to capitalize on Nairobi’s status as the host of the UN headquarters in Africa, targeting the business of traveling diplomats.

“We are part of the Lufthansa Group, which enhances connectivity across the continent. With Discover Airlines and Lufthansa already operating 18 weekly flights to Mombasa, we aim to increase flights to Nairobi over time,” said Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Brussels Airlines.

Nairobi is Brussels Airlines’ 18th destination in sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to 40% of its total revenue.

The Kenyan government has replaced visa entry with the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), simplifying the process for visitors.

Kenya Airports Authority chairman Caleb Kositany was also present to witness the landmark flight’s arrival in Nairobi.