Kenya Airways launched its first direct flight to Italy on 16 December becoming the only carrier to link the two countries directly.

The service operates three times a week between Nairobi and Rome on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, leaving Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport at 0.55 and arriving Rome Fiumicino at 06.30. The return flight leaves Rome at 10.25 arriving Nairobi at 19.05.

The direct service is not only an improvement for Kenyans living in Italy but also for the large numbers of Italian tourists travelling to Kenya for winter holidays along the coast or for safaris. In the past the main services to Kenya were a night flight via Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airways, connections via north European airports such as Amsterdam, London and Paris or via the Middle East. Rome becomes Kenya Airways fourth European destination after Amsterdam, London and Paris.

Alitalia is code sharing the service between Nairobi and Rome with Kenya Airlines, as well as onward routes within Kenya, for example to Mombasa, and to other destinations in Africa. Passengers from Nairobi can check through to other destinations from Rome with Alitalia.