Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Kenya was named the best-improved airport in Africa in the 2015 Airports Council International Airport Service Quality Awards.
Photo: Kenya Airports Authority
Kenyans now enter the fray of Qantas scrap with Canberra Airport
The public bust-up between Qantas and Canberra Airport has taken another unexpected twist, with a senior Kenyan diplomat now entering the fray.
Last week the former chair of Australia’s competition watchdog, Graeme Samuel, likened the aggressive behaviour of Canberra Airport to something out of Somalia or Kenya.
In response, Kenya’s high commissioner to Australia, Isaiya Kabira, has rebuked the comparison in an open letter sent to Fairfax Media.
“While it is in your full right to express your outrage, we find it extremely unfortunate that you draw parallels of inefficiency and imagery of piracy to a respected and much-admired airport of Nairobi,” Mr Kabira wrote.
“We also bring to your attention that thousands of young Kenyan soldiers have put their lives on the line to pacify and bring peace in Somalia, a corner of the world, long forgotten by many nations, as part of a peace keeping force of the African Union,” he added.
The letter was incorrectly addressed to Qantas boss Alan Joyce, although referenced comments made by Mr Samuel, who chairs industry body Airlines for Australia and New Zealand.
A spokeswoman for the industry body said they would apologise to the Kenyan embassy.
“The comments were made on the spur of the moment and were a poor choice of wording,” the spokeswoman said.
“There was never any intention to cause offence to Kenya. The intention was to demonstrate our ongoing frustration with the anti-competitive behaviour of Canberra Airport.
“We will issue an apology to the Kenyan Embassy accordingly.”
Mr Samuel made the comparison at an airline industry event at Parliament House on Thursday last week.READ MORE