I am in Tourism and I support open skies but on the fresh request by Emirates I will choose to side with our govemernet and my good friend CS James Macharia that Emirates need to slow down but what is the other option ?
Fact: It is NOT that Emirates are not flying into Nbi. They have 7 flights weekly and they want 7 more yet we also have Air Arabia + Etihad then add Qatar in the same region.
I have taken the liberty to extract a line from what good CS has said where he was quoted in mainstream media and it is deep.
He said only the national career, KQ, can protect Kenya’s national interests in terms of emergencies. “When Covid-19 struck, we looked for airlines to evacuate our people but only KQ came in handy. We had to change configuration of two KQ planes 747 to help us ship in vaccines because no airline wanted to help us,”. I am afraid we cannot ignore this statement and throw KQ under the bus. If you look at the history of Emirates it was formed under very difficult circumstances but rest as they say is history
Now since Nairobi is such a HOT hub, we should get Emirates closer and we negotiate a deal that is a win win . We need to think at a higher level far beyond the micro request for more frequencies , where I sit that is small fry let us think BIG.
Emirates got the financial muscle and more importantly they got the discipline in corprate governance and we got God given location ( 4 hours to West Africa / South Africa / North Africa , we are the HEART and SOUL of Africa) and fairly good facility at JKIA that can be improved and of course well trained warm people.
Rwanda partnered with Qatar , nothing stops us from inviting Emirates to Nairobi and JKIA becomes their hub into Africa and we strike a win win deal NOT like the lopsided one we had with KLM. I am afraid the bad guys who always spoil a good broth would have to stay away from this, you’ve eaten enough from KQ deals please allow the few good men to salvage what is left . KQ is currently under the best care from the MD, Chairman and entire board. Men and women of dignity who given a fair chance and support will lift KQ out of this deep hole.
While others see a fight with UAE , I see a HUGE opportunity , HUGE one as the world of aviation crawls out of Covid mess.
Visualize a future where Emirates feed Nairobi big time from Middle East & rest of the world while we do most of the connection in Africa, a continent that is on one serious northerly trajectory. Simply put in the deal Emirates would have a second hub in Africa which is Nairobi in JKIA . They will then help KQ to build serious capacity to fly across Africa which is hungry for connection. Nothing stops KQ as an African airliner to set domestic hubs in other African countries that have poor road connection. Can you imagine for once KQ setting us base to connect DRC across 3 or 4 major towns out of Kinshasa or even in Africas most populace nation of Nigeria. Nigerians yearn for quality safe affordable domestic flights . It’s a shame that in 21st century some West Africans have to fly first to Paris in order to travel to a neighboring African country.
KQ is currently under the best care from the MD, Chairman and entire board. Men and women of dignity who given a fair chance and support will lift KQ out of this deep hole.
If we were to partner with Emirates It means Emirates will fly into Nairobi while KQ connects them to other cities in Africa and even more deeper than just the capital cities. It’s less hours to fly and certainly better yield. Ask yourself why flying to the Mara from Nairobi is similar cost flying to Dubai yet it is a one hour hop and I will tell you for free that such opportunities are many.
Visualize a future where Emirates are allowed to land in Mombasa and even invest in Moi International Airport bringing loads and loads of tourists. What about cargo ….lift our sweet mangoes rotting in the farms from Tana River , Malindi to Kwale and deliver them to the leading supermarkets in the middle east.
Visualize a future where Emirates cargo fly direct to Kisumu and Eldoret to lift our fresh produce without wasting time clogging already busy Nairobi which will help spread the development cake.
Emirates while it is run as a corporation main shareholder remains the government of Dubai hence KQ should fast track the nationalising plans then off load substantial shares to Emirates say 40% ( Kenya still remains a majority shareholder ) and clean and retire all debts ( Banks that hold close to 39% onwership will be happy to exit, they ended up where they are by default ) and we start a fresh. Kenya Airways code named KQ can then rise from all the difficulties like the proverbial bird Phoenix.
Visualize , Visualize , Visualize ….its free ….to visualize
As always I choose to remain an optimist. Please let’s do it and let us turn a new leaf for our national carrier.