Kenya’s horticultural sector is set to benefit substantially when the country's national carrier, Kenya Airways, begins flying its new aircraft non-stop three times a week between Nairobi and Guangzhou – China’s third largest city and a key hub of the country’s southern region.
The MD of Kenya Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA) Dr. Alfred Serem lauded the move saying that the introduction of direct flights will result to a drop in the cost of transporting flowers to China. This would result to an increase in demand for Kenyan flowers in China as they will arrive fresh.
According to Serem, Kenya’s market share will rise from the current five per cent to around ten per cent in China.
Flower exports which currently have market share of about five per cent in China are likely to improve to 10 per cent says Serem.
Before this new move, flights to China from Kenya were linked through Dubai and Bangkok. Kenya Airways targets to make three direct flights to China from 19th November 2013 upon the acquisition of their new Boeing 777 – 300ER. The Boeing, which arrived in the Country in mid October, is set to make three non-stop flights between Nairobi and Guangzhou.
Kenya Airways CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni says the direct flights to China will be a way of opening up trade between the two regions and improving Sino – Africa relations. In 2012, the value of trade between China and Africa was estimated at US$200 billion. China has been projected to be the new market for the bulk of Kenyan cut flowers, although currently over 70 per cent of Kenya’s cut flowers are sold to the EU markets.