China Southern Airlines has launched a twice-weekly direct flight between Nairobi and Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.

The flight will reduce the travel time from Africa to 12 hours – previously 20 hours via Guangzhou – and is the first non-stop regular route from Hunan Province to Africa.

Passengers from Africa will be able to transfer from Changsha, taking advantage of the route network of China Southern, to cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Xi'an.

The new flight will be part of the codeshare with Kenya Airways, which has direct flights to Nairobi from Johannesburg and Cape Town.

China Southern also operates two direct flights per week between Nairobi and Guangzhou, on Mondays and Fridays.