Kenya Airways is fueling the controversy between the Kenyan Air Transport authorities and Emirates. The airline has decided to add capacity to the route between Kenya and the UAE. Emirates Airlines was recently rescinded the permission to fly this route.
Kenya Airways Adds Flights to Dubai
Kenya Airways has recently filed a schedule for two additional rotations from Nairobi to Dubai. Per airlineroute, they plan on flying these flights twice a week, during February and March. The airline will fly a 787-8 for that rotation. The airline otherwise flies a 737-800 on the route. The 787 is equipped with 30 Premier World lie flat seats in a 2x2x2 configuration. The aircraft also has 204 economy seats.
Emirates rebuffed by Kenyan Authorities
Emirates had been recently awarded rights for a third daily flight between Nairobi and Dubai. The airline had announced the start of the flight when the aviation authorities in Kenya rescinded their offer. Emirates has since cancelled the flight. The airline was most likely rejected due to a protectionist policy by the Kenyan government towards their own flag carrier. Arab airlines are facing the problem of rising protectionism from countries where they currently fly to. Since the Gulf carriers tend to offer very low priced flights, they make the local flag carriers uncompetitive.
I understand the logic behind the Kenyan government. What I find fault with is them giving Emirates the green light, and then backtracking. If they had never accepted the proposal, there would be no issue. Small countries like Kenya may need protectionist policies to protect their airlines, given the size and scope of the Gulf carriers. This plight is very different to the argument presented by the Big Three US carriers. Nonetheless, both airlines have 4 daily flights (plus 2 weekly more to start soon) to Dubai.
What do you think? Have you ever flown on Kenya Airways? How was your experience? Let us know!
All photos taken from Wikimedia Commons or Kenya Airways website unless otherwise noted.