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The British Airways has said its expansion programme on the Kenyan route will continue despite the June 23 vote that commits the United Kingdom to exit the European Union (EU).
Slightly over a month ago the airline increased its passenger capacity between London and Nairobi by introducing the Boeing 474-400 adding 784 seats a week on the route.
The larger aircraft targeting both leisure and business traveler is scheduled to operate during the busy four-month period extending to October.
British Airways commercial manager for Kenya Kevin Leung said Brexit (the vote to leave the European Union) does not change the airline’s plans in the Kenyan market.
“We do not expect Brexit to have a long-term impact on our business. As you can recall we introduced Boeing 474-400 on July 1 which was a few days after the Brexit referendum poll,” he said.
However, effects of the Brexit will not immediately be felt since the UK has two years to negotiate terms of the split with the European Union.
The EU is an economic and political partnership currently involving 28 European countries, which explains the extraordinary political and economic upheaval the Brexit has caused.
Mr Leung said with increased passenger capacity, BA , as it is referred to as by its international code, is poised to serve its customers more effectively with is up to 250 aircrafts.
“Aside from increasing capacity, everything remains the same including our schedule and what we have on board,” he said in an interview.
In March national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) sold off its early morning prime landing slot at London’s Heathrow airport and instead rented an afternoon slot.
The move disadvantaged business fliers who preferred the early morning arrival since it allowed them 14 hours to do their business and travel back home on the same plane in the evening.
KQ schedule that took effect in March had its flights departing from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 9:10am to arrive in London at 4:15pm, then depart from London on the same evening arriving in Nairobi the next morning.
BA moved to cash in on KQ’s sale of the prime slot by increasing capacity on the Nairobi-London route with the Boeing 474-400.
In Africa, currencies, stocks and bonds tumbled following the decision by the UK to leave EU in the June 23 referendum.
Finance Secretary Henry Rotich spoke immediately after the Brexit vote and assured investors that Kenya has adequate foreign exchange reserves to absorb any shocks from the crisis.
– Business Daily