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Chinese market a pillar of KQs’ global business, says executive

Friday, May 17th, 2024 07:32 | By
  A top Kenya Airways executive has described Chinese market as a pillar of the airline’s global business. PHOTO/Print
  A top Kenya Airways executive has described Chinese market as a pillar of the airline’s global business. PHOTO/Print

 A top Kenya Airways executive has described Chinese market as a pillar of the airline’s global business given its competitive nature and a promising future.

“We see a good fiscal year ahead since China’s aviation performance is robust, which has given us confidence in the Chinese market,” Julius Thairu, chief commercial and customer officer with the airline, said during an interview with Xinhua.

After entering the Chinese market in 2005, the Kenyan carrier flies weekly routes from Nairobi to South China’s Guangzhou city. Thairu said that next year, the 20th anniversary of the company’s entering the Chinese market, a new direct flight from Nairobi to Beijing will be launched. 

“From capital to capital, and from Kenya to other African countries, easier transportation will bring us closer,” he said, adding that China remains Africa’s largest trading partner for 15 consecutive years.

Kenya is China’s largest trading partner in East Africa, while China is Kenya’s largest trading partner and source of imports.

Tourism resources

With its rich tourism resources and eased visa policy for foreign visitors, Kenya has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists. Thairu said KQ is partnering with several Chinese airlines on interline agreements, ground operations, and code sharing. It has been recruiting Chinese-speaking cabin crews to better serve the expanding market.

After visiting Beijing to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2006, Thairu has been to cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Changsha, and was amazed at how modern those cities are.       

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