Two Air France KLM Martinair Cargo flights a week to depart from Kenya to the Netherlands to foster economic ties
In the midst of this corona pandemic, the Netherlands and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are ensuring that trade links between Kenya and the Netherlands remain strong. Starting this week, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo will operate two weekly cargo flights bringing 45-50 tons of cargo from Nairobi to Amsterdam. For this purpose, KLM Boeing 777-300 passenger aircraft will be used with ample belly capacity. This comes in addition to the existing full freighter flights Air France KLM Martinair is regularly operating. Once again, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is showing its dedication to support the export of cut flowers and other perishable products from Kenya to the Netherlands. It also signifies a clear boost for the Kenyan agricultural and horticulture sector and the Kenyan economy at large as it will enable more exports.
The Netherlands as a leading export destination for Kenya
The Netherlands has long been in the forefront of investing in Kenya and promoting increased exports from Nairobi to Amsterdam and beyond. For the last five years in a row, the Netherlands has been ranked as the leading country in Europe in purchasing Kenyan exports. It’s also the largest export market for Kenyan products in Europe and the leading destination for Kenya’s cut flowers, vegetables and fruits. Trade statistics for the period between 2014 and 2018 indicate that Kenya’s exports to the Netherlands amounted to Kshs 216.4 billion against imports from the Netherlands totaling Kshs 94.7 billion. This shows that Kenya enjoys a favourable trade balance of Kshs 121.7 billion which makes the Netherlands one of the few European countries with a trade balance heavily skewed in Kenya’s favour.
Succesfull repatriation flight to the Netherlands
In addition to Cargo flights, the Netherlands and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, in cooperation with the European Union, organized a successful repatriation flight for stranded Dutch and European citizens on Sunday 19 April. The repatriation flight that took off from Nairobi JKIA was able to bring almost 300 stranded Dutch tourists and others directly to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport upon payment of a fee by passengers. This repatriation flight was made possible due to excellent cooperation with the Government of Kenya and only flew passengers out of the country and did not bring any people to Nairobi.
The Netherlands supporting Kenya and others in the fight against COVID-19
Besides trade, the Netherlands remains Kenya’s key partner in promoting socio-economic development through bilateral development cooperation with Kenya. In light of Corona, the Netherlands will for instance make EUR 100 million (approx. 11,5 billion KSH) available to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries. This comes on top of the EUR 5 million that we made available to the World Health Organization and EUR 800,000 to the Red Cross (NRK) at the start of the crisis. The money is meant for prevention to further spread the virus, humanitarian aid for those most affected and social and economic aid, including in Kenya. More support activities in Kenya are to be undertaken.
This year marks the 56th anniversary of the Netherlands bilateral relations with Kenya and even in these turbulent times the partnership between Kenya and the Netherlands remains strong as ever.