Brussels Airlines has resumed its direct flights to Nairobi after nearly a decade, marking a significant milestone in the airline’s expansion and in Kenya’s aviation sector.

"The inaugural flight, featuring the state-of-the-art Airbus A330-300, touched down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Monday night (June 3, 2024), heralding a new era of connectivity between Europe and East Africa," Kenya Airports Authority said in its LinkedIn post.

The flight was met with a warm reception at JKIA where a distinguished delegation awaited its arrival. "Among the attendees were Mohamed Daghar from the State Department for Transport, Julius Bitok from State Department for Immigration & Citizen Services, Belgian Ambassador Peter Maddens and Kenya Airports Authority Board Chairman Caleb Kositany."

Kositany said: "The return of Brussels Airlines is a testament to Nairobi’s growing significance as a regional hub. We are not only celebrating this flight but also looking ahead to future growth."

The planned upgrades of JKIA aim to enhance the airport’s capacity to handle more passengers and flights, positioning Nairobi as a premier aviation hub in Africa, Kositany added. "Expanding JKIA is crucial for accommodating the increasing number of international flights and for bolstering our economy through improved connectivity."

"We will have a cargo capacity between 8–15 tonnes on each flight depending on baggage load and other conditions," says Zlatko Zlatic, Head of Sales and Handling East Africa, Lufthansa Cargo.

"The main commodities for Kenya are flowers, vegetables, cuttings and fish. We are expecting constantly per flight 10–15 tonnes, which is our growth to the existing capacity on the Lufthansa passenger flights to Frankfurt."

Brussels Airlines is the home carrier of Belgium and one of the four network airlines of the Lufthansa Group.

PML Nairobi was the fastest to book the first shipment on the maiden flight of Brussels Airlines, says Zlatic.

"A big thank you to the team of #PMLnairobi. Looking forward of having more shipments of you in the future," Zlatic posted on LinkedIn.

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