Israel calls for Tel Aviv-Nairobi flights

Israel's Ambassador to Kenya, Gil Haskel, has said that his country would like to see the resumption of direct flights between Tel Aviv and Nairobi before the end of 2013.

The Israeli government banned the flights ten years ago over what Israel called “security lapses” at Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi.

However Israel is now satisfied with the airport’s level of security, according to the ambassador, who said that “obviously if we want to resume them [flights] we believe that these threats are no longer there."

Haskel said that the return of direct flights between both countries would be “huge for mutual and bi-lateral tourism” and that Kenya's tourism numbers would be boosted by about 50,000 per annum.

He blamed the lack of direct flights on the fact that currently less than 10,000 Israeli tourists visit Kenya each year.