NAIROBI– Air France is returning to the East African aviation market after an18-year hiatus, with THE introduction of three weekly flights to Nairobi in a move which aviation experts say is aimed at consolidating commercial capacity in the region.

As part of its joint venture with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Kenya Airways, Air France will introduce the service using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, says Air France Africa Senior Vice-President Frank Legre.

He told a media briefing here Monday the airline was resuming the flights following a strong relationship and good ties with Kenya Airways.

We are coming up with a new agreement that will benefit travellers from 24 daily flights between Paris, Amsterdam and Nairobi, he said, adding that Air France, KLM and Kenya Airways customers will be able to reserve flights operated on a code-share basis by one of the three airlines on round-trip services between Paris-Nairobi and Amsterdam-Nairobi.

Legre also stated that Air France would be operating three weekly flights between Paris-Nairobi while KLM would operate seven weekly flights between Amsterdam-Nairobi. Kenya Airways will be operating 14 weekly flights, seven each on the Paris-Nairobi and Amsterdam-Nairobi sectors.

The commercial joint venture is also a result of thriving business between Kenya and France. The airline has six Dreamliners to lure more customers with a great offer for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), added Legre.

In addition Air France will this summer offer 51 African destinations, mounting to 489 weekly flights. The airline is also now offering more flights between Europe and Africa with 31 flights to Europe.

Air France, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the Sky Team global air alliance previously served Nairobi until March 2000.