Lufthansa Group, one of the largest airlines in Europe, has recently made a significant move in re-affirming its commitment to East Africa.
Effective 1st March 2023, Kevin Markette has been appointed as the new General Manager for the East African region. This encompasses Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. With his position and team permanently based in Nairobi, Markette will be able to focus on the needs of local customers and be closer to the market.
In response to his appointment, Philippe Saeys-Desmedt, Senior Director of Sales Sub-Sahara Africa Lufthansa Group said, “It is our pleasure to welcome Kevin Markette to this important and dynamic region. We draw upon Kevin’s vast global experience, including that on the African continent to enhance our market position and trustful relationships established with our business partners and customers. Being now located with his team in the East African region, seated in Nairobi, he will quickly forge new relationships in the region.”
Markette previously headed up several teams within the Sales and Customer Servicing organization of the Lufthansa Group across various cities, including New York, Atlanta, Accra, Dubai, Lagos, Karachi, and Johannesburg. Educated in South Africa and qualified as a Commercial Pilot, he is an experienced airliner having started working for the Lufthansa Group in 2000.
With Markette’s appointment, the Lufthansa Group is relocating the commercial responsibility for the passenger business back to Kenya. This is a strategic move for the airline group as East Africa is an important market for the company.
The Lufthansa Group already offers three East African destinations through its Eurowings Discover network: Mombasa, Zanzibar, and Kilimanjaro. In addition to this, Lufthansa will increase its capacity to East Africa with additional Nairobi flights.
As per Lufthansa’s recent announcement, effective from 03 June 2023, Lufthansa will expand its current connection from Frankfurt, Germany into Nairobi for the summer flight schedule from five to seven weekly flights.
The additional flights will arrive from Frankfurt in Nairobi at 20:30 on a daily basis, and the returning flight will depart each evening from Nairobi at 22:25 (local time). At the same time, the four weekly flights between Frankfurt and Mombasa, which are operated by the Lufthansa Group’s leisure carrier Eurowings Discover, shall be maintained for the summer flight plan, bringing the total capacity offered between Kenya and Germany to eleven weekly flights.
“East Africa is undoubtedly one of the most important markets for us on the continent, and our booking figures reflect that the region is particularly popular with holidaymakers from Germany and abroad,” said Markette. “Furthermore, by increasing our Lufthansa frequencies between Nairobi and Frankfurt, we are underlining the importance of Kenya for the Lufthansa Group, as well as our long-term commitment to the region. Such positive developments can only be accomplished through strong partnerships with Kenyan corporates who share a common goal and who supported and trusted us throughout the recent challenging years. Together we share the vision that East Africa still holds tremendous potential for growth and development in the aviation sector.”
The Lufthansa Group’s commitment to East Africa shows its dedication to providing customers with top-notch services and is a testament to the growing importance of the region as a key market for airlines. With the appointment of Kevin Markette as General Manager for East Africa and an increased number of flights to Nairobi, the Lufthansa Group is looking to capitalize on this burgeoning market in the region.