IndiGo, India’s largest domestic carrier, has today (August 5) launched non-stop flights between Mumbai and Nairobi, becoming the carrier’s 27th international destination and 105th overall destination in the airline’s network.
The Airbus A320neo flight, IndiGo 6E1853, took off from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport at 6:04 AM IST. After a journey of approximately five hours and 35 minutes, the aircraft safely landed at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 11:39 AM IST (9:09 AM local time). The landing ceremony was met with jubilation and a warm welcome, signifying the beginning of a promising partnership between India and Kenya.
At the time of the route announcement Mr. Vinay Malhotra, Head of Global Sales, IndiGo, said,“We are thrilled to announce the commencement of direct flights connecting Mumbai and Nairobi, which represents a significant stride in fortifying the bilateral relationship between India and Kenya. With India now standing as Kenya’s third-largest trading partner and witnessing a surge in investments, this new air route will further bolster our economic connections. Nairobi, as Kenya’s capital, serves as our inaugural destination in Sub-Saharan Africa, encompassing diverse landscapes such as savannahs, lakes, and mountain highlands. Notably, travelers can embark on safaris from Nairobi to the renowned Maasai Mara and numerous other National Parks & Wildlife Reserves, providing a plethora of choices for tourists. As our network continues to expand, we remain dedicated to upholding our commitment of providing punctual, cost-effective, courteous, and seamless travel experiences to our esteemed passengers.”
While expressing excitement about the new service, John Chirchir, A.g. CEO of Kenya Tourism Board, stated, “MagicalKenya is thrilled by the launch of IndiGo’s direct flights from Mumbai to Nairobi, Kenya, commencing in August 2023. This marks a significant achievement in our endeavors to increase the influx of visitors from India, a leading market in Asia. This direct air link to Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and a pivotal regional hub for both business and travel, offers a seamless connection for leisure tourists, business travelers, and investors. This connection complements our national carrier, Kenya Airways. Through a collaborative approach, we aim to elevate Kenya’s position as the ultimate travel destination for Indian tourists seeking a diverse range of experiences including wildlife safaris, serene beach retreats, delectable culinary adventures, exhilarating escapades, productive business engagements, and unforgettable moments like weddings and honeymoons. Through joint marketing and sales initiatives, we strive to enhance Kenya’s allure and entice a greater number of Indian travelers to discover its marvels.”
According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, there are three nonstop routes linking India and Kenya. Kenya Airways serves Mumbai-Nairobi twice a day; Air India connects New Delhi and Nairobi three times per week; and Rwandair links Mumbai and Mombasa as part of a Mumbai-Mombasa-Kigali routing.
The airline recently finalized an agreement with Airbus to purchase 500 aircraft from the A320 family, marking the largest-ever single purchase agreement in the industry. This order, combined with IndiGo’s existing fleet of about 300 aircraft and an additional order for 480 aircraft to be delivered by the end of the decade, positions the airline for significant growth and solidifies its status as a major player in the global aviation industry.