AIRASIA X (AAX) yesterday celebrated another major milestone with the announcement of a brand new route to Africa – connecting travellers to safari haven Nairobi in Kenya’s capital.

Set to take its first flight on Nov 15, the route marks a historic achievement for AAX as the sole low-cost carrier in Malaysia to offer direct air connectivity to the city.

The move followed the airline's solid start to the year, showcasing a robust trajectory in its financial results with strong load factors and regaining market leadership on the network front. In March this year, AAX also introduced new flights to Almaty in Kazakhstan, its maiden entry into Central Asia.

“The Nairobi route serves as a crucial link in connecting Asia to Africa, fostering stronger trade, tourism and business ties within the region. By facilitating direct air travel between Kuala Lumpur and Nairobi, the airline aims to enhance accessibility and spur economic opportunities for both countries,” the company stated.

AAX will also offer a seamless “Fly-Thru” connection, creating a vital link between Kenya and 130 destinations across Southeast Asia, Northern and Central Asia, and Australia, providing affordable and convenient travel options for all while reinforcing its commitment to global connectivity.

Capital A Bhd CEO and AirAsia Aviation Group advisor Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said: “We are thrilled to announce a direct new route, bridging Malaysia and Kenya. This milestone, coming on the heels of our 15th consecutive win as Skytrax’s World’s Best Low-Cost Airline, embodies our mission to connect the world affordably. This new route not only opens up Asia to Africa but also has the potential to strengthen ties in tourism, business and trade between the two continents.

“It marks the beginning of a new journey into Africa, and while our roots are in Asia and Asean, our dream has always been to make Kuala Lumpur a global low cost carrier hub. This expansion brings us closer to that vision, giving us a solid footing to build global connections and opportunities.”

$!(Third from left, to right) Tourism Malaysia director-general Manoharan Periasamy, AirAsia Aviation Group CEO Bo Lingam, Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Yasmin Mahmood, Capital A executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, AAX chairman Datuk Fam Lee Ee, Tourism Malaysia deputy chairman Datuk Yeoh Soon Hin, AAX CEO Benyamin Ismail, AirAsia Group chief commercial officer Paul Carroll, and High Commissioner-Designate of Malaysia to the Republic of Kenya His Excellency Ruzaimi Mohamad, during the launch of the Nairobi route at AirAsia headquarters in Sepang, yesterday.

AAX CEO Benyamin Ismail added: “Embarking on this new adventure into Africa is truly exhilarating, particularly in light of our significant growth trajectory earlier this year. We anticipate carrying over 156,000 travellers annually on this route, which will strengthen ties and boost the tourism sectors in both Malaysia and Kenya. Furthermore, this route presents excellent connectivity opportunities to other key markets we serve, including Australia, China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

“Travellers across the region can now journey more affordably to Kenya, with a convenient stopover in Kuala Lumpur. Both Malaysia and Kenya are vibrant nations, each home to millions of people and a rich tapestry of beautiful heritages and extraordinary sceneries. We look forward to further enriching the cultural and economic exchanges between these dynamic regions.”

AAX stated that as it gears up to rev its engines into Africa, thrill-seekers, globe trotters and nature lovers can soon immerse themselves in the Kenyan adventure from RM699 all-in* one way

$!Jambo!: AirAsia X launch KL-Nairobi direct flight

This promotion is available for booking on the AirAsia MOVE app (formerly known as the airasia Superapp) from now until July 14, 2024 for the travel period between Nov 15, 2024 and Oct 8, 2025.

“Situated in the heart of Kenya, Nairobi boasts acres of lush greenery, wide open grass plains that go as far as the eye can see and an abundance of wildlife that often attracts throngs of tourists who hope to catch a glimpse of the near-extinct Northern White Rhino or the Great Migration in Masai Mara,” AAX stated.

“If the breath-taking skylines or the thrilling safari experiences aren’t captivating enough, the city is a bustling metropolis of vibrant nightlife, deeply rooted in culture and flavourful delights stemming from the various cultures and traditions it is home to.”

Flight schedule between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Nairobi (NBO) is as follows (route, flight number, departure time, arrival time and frequency):

- Kuala Lumpur – Nairobi: D7 101, 19:00, 23:00, Monday, Friday, Wednesday & Sunday.

- Nairobi – Kuala Lumpur: D7 102, 00:30, 15:10, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.

* The all-in promotional fare is for one way including airport taxes, MAVCOM fee, fuel surcharges and other applicable fees. Other terms and conditions apply.

** “Jambo”, short for “hujambo”, is a Swahili greeting or salutation. It is similar in meaning to the English word “Hello”. Swahili and English are widely spoken in Kenya, and are also the country’s two official languages.

$!(From left) AAX CEO Benyamin Ismail, AAX chairman Datuk Fam Lee Ee, Capital A executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Dr Yasmin Mahmood, during the launch of the Nairobi route at AirAsia headquarters in Sepang, yesterday.