Travellers can now enjoy direct flights from Kenya’s capital Nairobi to Somalia’s Mogadishu following an agreement between the two governments.A meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed a fortnight ago resolved to reintroduce the route; 11 years after the Kenyan government redirected all flights from Somalia to Wajir International Airport. “The stopover at Wajir will be removed within a couple of weeks,” announced President Kenyatta while hosting his Somali counterpart at State House Nairobi. In the past, Kenya has insisted that the stopover was needed for security reasons despite travellers from Somalia complaining about inconveniences.
The first flight from Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport took off on March 29, in a mini-ceremony attended by top Somali government officials.Though not a big target country for Kenya’s tourism products, the reintroduction of the route will revive trade between the two countries and boost revenue for the two countries. Somalia is a big importer of miraa from Kenya, with 20 flights reportedly departing Kenya for Somalia every day. Flights from other towns in Somalia such as Hargeisa, Bossaso and Galkayo will have to transit in Mogadishu before proceeding to Nairobi.