With frosty relations between Kenya and Somalia which has seen the former close its borders and bar flights to and from Mogadishu, Kenya Airways is considering Hargeisa as its next destination in the Horn of Africa.
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Kenya Airways has previously done a feasibility study on Hargeisa with the parliament to giving an okay for the national carrier to fly to Hargeisa but this is yet to happen.
An estimated 15,000 Kenyans are living and working in Somaliland in the hospitality and education sectors.
Somaliland Managing Director of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority Abdi Mohammed Rodol recently visited in Nairobi to hold discussions with authorities in Kenya on the suitability of Hargeisa as a destination for Kenya Airways.
So far, Ethiopia Airlines flies twice every week to Somaliland between Addis Ababa and Hargeisa.
Fly Dubai also has flights between Dubai and Hargeisa bringing business people to Somaliland from all over the world.
With plans to open a consulate in Hargeisa still on, the Kenya Airways sees this as an opportunity to introduce flights to the country which parted ways with Somalia after the start of the 1990 civil war.
Last month, the Foreign Affairs ministry directed Mr. Philip Mundia Githiora to establish the mission in the Somaliland capital.
Ethiopia and Djibouti have already set up diplomatic missions in Somaliland.
About Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways Ltd., more commonly known as Kenya Airways, is the flag carrier airline of Kenya. Kenya Airways was established by the Kenyan government on 22 January 1977, following the break-up of the East African Community and the consequent demise of East African Airways (EAA). On 4 February 1977, two Boeing 707–321s leased from British Midland Airways inaugurated operations, serving the Nairobi–Frankfurt–London route. Their head office is located in Embakasi, Nairobi, with its hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The airline was owned by the Government of Kenya until April 1995, and it was privatized in 1996, becoming the first African flag carrier to successfully do so. Kenya Airways is currently a public-private partnership. The largest shareholder is the Government of Kenya (48.9%), 38.1% is owned by KQ Lenders Company 2017 Ltd. (in turn owned by a consortium of banks), followed by KLM, which has a 7.8% stake in the company. The rest of the shares are held by private owners; shares are traded on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, and the Uganda Securities Exchange.
The airline became a member of SkyTeam in June 2010, and is also a member of the African Airlines Association since 1977.