Planned chartered flights to boost Kenya's tourism

Tourism Cabinet secretary Najib Balala. PHOTO | FILE
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. PHOTO | FILE 

President Uhuru Kenyatta's waiver of landing fees for chartered tourist planes received a major boost yesterday when a European charter company promised to ferry tourists into the country starting July.

TUI Poland Charter, whose aircrafts have a 180 passenger capacity, said that it will begin flying directly to Mombasa’s Moi International Airport in July this year on a weekly basis.

The deal follows consultations between Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala and representatives of the multinational travel and leisure giant.

More flights by TUI UK and TUI Europe will start in November and December as the companies continue marketing their east African tourism packages.

The TUI representatives also met tourism stakeholders seeking deals and direct partnership with their hotels and tour operators.

Mr Balala welcomed the planned chartered flights saying more companies had expressed their interest in resuming flights to Kenya.

The government recently introduced a waiver of landing fees and a Sh3000 subsidy for every passenger flying directly into the country for leisure and business once their flights terminate their journey at Mombasa or Malindi.

“This is a step in the right direction and a big boost to the tourism industry and urge all stakeholders to join us in making the visits by the tourists memorable. The action by TUI is a strong indicator that Kenya will see a resurgence in tourists’ numbers,” he said.

The government has also promised visiting tourists a total waiver on visa fees for children aged under fifteen years accompanying their parents.