A new east-west tradelane is beginning to flourish, and could eventually overtake the traditional north-south route between Africa and Europe.
The growing influence of China in Africa, coupled with the proximity and connectivity of the Middle East and strong trade links with Brazil, could see Europe increasingly bypassed.
In what was described as a “major game-changer”, at the end of last year Kenya Airways launched the first direct flight between East Africa and the US, with flights from Nairobi to New York, a move expected to boost east-west trade.
“We are taking flowers to the US,” said Jan de Vegt, chief operating officer of Kenya Airways. “We look at ways to grow business; sustainable flows that will make a sustainable cargo business.”
While Europe remains the largest buyer of Kenyan flowers, new export markets in Asia are also opening up.