New plane will boost efficiency and world trade connections
On 4 November President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Kenya Airways’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that will operate direct flights from Nairobi to Guangzhou. Speaking at the launch, the President said the national airline’s acquisition of a new fleet of aircraft will boost its efficiency and further trade connections with the world. He said the move will also attract investment and create jobs, which are key priorities of his government. The introduction of direct flights to China is part of the government’s strategy to consistently strengthen ties with the Far East.
“During my state visit to the People’s Republic of China, I was seized with the [importance of the] subject of deeper relations, and people-to-people contact, which is at the heart of stronger partnerships,” the President said.
He said the Government intends to attract at least 0.1 per cent of China’s vast population of 1.3 billion people to Kenya as tourists.
President Kenyatta said his administration will continue facilitating the national airline to achieve its expansion targets. He explained that the Government has embarked on upgrading the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to be the air hub for East and Central Africa.
“We endeavour to use every opportunity to move the agenda of national transformation forward, and we will embrace the opportunity to lift the quality and traveller experience at this airport,” he said.
Observing that infrastructure development is critical to economic growth, President Kenyatta applauded the progress in the building of a new temporary terminal at JKIA that will handle 2.5 million passengers a year, equivalent to the current capacity of the airport.
The President added that with adequate infrastructure in place, the goal of a peaceful, highly developed, borderless region is quickly taking shape, and that the government’s commitment to improve infrastructure will ease movement of people, goods and services.
“We are working to unlock the great potential of our economies to transform our peoples’ lives. We do so with discipline and commitment,” the President said.
Speaking during the function, Deputy President William Ruto congratulated the KQ management for its excellent work, adding that the national carrier can count on the government as a partner in business.
He said business, trade and tourism are major contributors to economic growth and the government will not waver in the creation of a conducive environment for local and foreign investors.