African Express Airways (XU, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta) has become the first airline to resume direct flights between Somalia and Nairobi after the two countries' governments reached an agreement to that end this past weekend.

In August 2007, following an escalation in the security situation with the then Islamic Courts Union (ICU), Nairobi required all flights from Somalia to stop in the eastern Kenyan town of Wajir for customs, immigration, and security screening before continuing on to their final destinations in Kenya.

As such, the signing of the agreement by Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, aims to revitalize the neighbouring East African states' engagement in all areas of mutual interest especially trade and diplomacy.

Ahead of African Express' flights, the Business Daily Africa newspaper reports Kenyan Transport secretary James Macharia confirmed additional security has been put in place in both Mogadishu as well as Nairobi to facilitate the flights. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has also lifted an existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) requiring flights originating in Mogadishu to transit via Wajir.

According to the ch-aviation route database, multiple carriers are active in the Nairobi-Somalia market: African Express Airways (serving Galcaio, Hargeisa, and Mogadishu); Daallo Airlines (serving Mogadishu); Fly SAX (serving Mogadishu); and Jubba Airways and its Jubba Airways (Kenya) sister carrier (serving Mogadishu using a combination of Asia Airways and YanAir aircraft). Ocean Airlines (Somalia) is also known to serve Hargeisa, Berbera, and Bossaso using Skyward Express aircraft.