Travelport Africa has announced that they will commence direct operations in Kenya and have appointed Mr. Rajab Itambo as General Manager Kenya. He joins the company from Kenya Airways where he has been working on the Travelport assignment since 2008. The past partnership with Kenya Airways, which had represented Travelport’s interests in the country until now, has reportedly been amicably terminated under a mutually signed agreement permitting Travelport to set up shop on their own.
The move is seen in part at least as a reaction to Galileo’s main rival Amadeus making serious inroads in the Eastern African region vis a vis market share and services offered to travel agents and corporate clients’ in house travel offices, prompting Travelport – which owns the Galileo brand – to react and establish a direct presence in East Africa’s most important airline and travel market.
Kenya’s travel and aviation industry is set to be boosted by the peaceful transition after the country’s general election in early March, permitting the economy take center stage again. Recent discoveries of significant quantities of oil in the country and a range of major infrastructure projects are bound to revive interest in Kenya – and the wider region where in particular in Tanzania huge gas deposits have been found – and give travel activities the proverbial shot in the arm.