AirAsia X goes on safari with brand new route to Kenyan capital from November 

AirAsia X Airbus A330
Kittikun Yoksap /

AirAsia X, the long-haul segment of AirAsia, has announced plans to expand into Africa with the launch of a new route between Malaysia and Narobi, the capital of Kenya.  

Renowned for its vast wildlife preserves, Kenya is one of the most important landscapes for the protection of the ‘Big Five’ which includes elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and the African buffalo.  

And it was with the safari industry in mind that partly attracted Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A which owns AirAsia X, to open this new frontier for the airline.  

“We are thrilled to announce a direct new route, bridging Malaysia and Kenya. 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,” Fernandez said.  

The new route from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) will commence on November 15, 2024, with the Airbus A330-300 service operating four times a week.  

The airline said on July 1, 2024, that the new route comes off the back of a “strong start” to the year and a “robust trajectory” in its financial results thanks in part to increased load factors.  

“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,” Benyamin Ismail, CEO of AirAsia X, said.  

The new service will also provide an effective connection to Nairobi for customers in Southeast Asia, Northern and Central Asia, and Australia. 

“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,” AirAsia X said in a statement. 

AirAsia X previously flew to the African island Mauritius in what was the airline’s first-ever expansion into Africa.   

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