Kenyans will by next year start enjoying direct flights from Nairobi to Tel Aviv and vice versa, Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of Israel to Kenya Mr Eyal David has said.
Israel suspended direct flights to Kenya in year 2002 following unsuccessful terror attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Kikambala and an airplane belonging to the country’s airline.
The deputy ambassador said Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways was to start the weekly flights to Tel Aviv in March this year but delays, attributed to a civil war that led to the ouster of Sudan President Omar El Bashir flopped the ambition.
Once resolved, Mr Eyal who was giving a lecture to Zetech University students said Kenyans will fly to Tel Aviv with ease, an achievement that is hoped to boost trade and travel between the two countries.
“We are very eager and looking forward to have these direct flights which will be a great boost to the relations we have on tourism, labour,” he said.
He said that while Kenya remains a popular nature tourism destination, Israel on the other hand remains a popular destination for many religious groups in Kenya that visit various sites for pilgrimage.
To boost economic ties and share more experiences with Africa, Eyal added that Israel has opened commercial offices in the region to better the working relations.
“Kenya is very special to Israel and so are other African countries. We want to work together and share our experience with Kenya and together there will be a better future for Kenyans, Israelis and the world at large,” he said.
Zetech University Vice chancellor Prof Njenga Munene called on the students to take advantage and focus more on international relations between the two countries which are business driven.
Njenga challenged Kenyans to borrow a leaf from Israel, a country he termed as small but has achieved much better than Kenya in terms of agricultural growth.
“The irrigated land in Israel is surprising, its 2,250 square kilometers compared to a population of eight million people. Kenya has 1,030 square kilometers compared to a population of over 48 million people. This is a major challenge,” he said.