Skift Take

Korea's wisely following the lead of its regional rival China, which has been building strong financial ties to east Africa for the last decade.

Source: The Korea Herald, Asia News Network

South Korea’s leading flag carrier Korean Air said Thursday it opened the direct route connecting Incheon and Nairobi, starting with its first flight at 10:15 p.m. the same day.

It is the first time that Korea has opened a direct flight to an African country, which is also the first among neighboring Northeast Asian countries including Japan and China.

Korean Air said it will operate a 226-seat A330-200 passenger jet to offer three weekly flights to the Kenyan capital. The flight time from Incheon is estimated to take about 13 hours.

Africa, consisting of 54 countries, is an emerging market for the global air travel industry as the region is actively engaged in increased business exchanges with foreign countries.

Considering there could be some 1.9 million Asians who want to travel to Africa, Korean Air plans to step up efforts to expand presence in the untapped market, officials said.

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Tags: kenya, korean air