Dutch carrier KLM to launch direct Amsterdam-Mombasa flights

A KLM plane landing at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands on April 30, 2014. PHOTO | AFP

Dutch national carrier KLM will launch direct flights from the Netherlands to the Kenyan coast in October, giving a boost to the tourism sector on its recovery from the reeling effects of Covid-19.

The airline will operate two flights a week between Amsterdam and Mombasa, on Thursday and Sunday, using the high capacity Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner starting October 31, with a loop to Nairobi from Mombasa.

KLM will be joining a host of other airlines including Ethiopian and other European carriers that fly directly to Mombasa, bringing the much-needed tourist numbers to Kenya’s coast after the sector was hard hit by the pandemic.

KLM General Manager for East Africa Arthur Dieffenthaler said the flights to Mombasa will mainly target leisure travelers.

“The rising number of tourists visiting Mombasa, not just from Europe but also the rest of the world, signifies the growing interest in the unique experiences the coastal city has to offer,” said Mr Dieffenthaler.

“KLM comes in to offer a superior and memorable flying experience both for first time and regular flyers to East Africa from our hub in Amsterdam. Because of positive developments regarding the pandemic in various regions, we see an increasing demand for direct flights,” he added.

Economic data shows the number of international tourists arriving in Kenya through its two major airports in Nairobi and Mombasa has been rising as countries gradually ease Covid-19 restrictions.

Since the resumption of international flights last year, the country registered 14,049 arrivals in August, 26,018 in September, and 39,894 in October.

KLM says travellers can start booking tickets from this month.

The carrier said the addition of the Amsterdam-Mombasa route will see it expand its presence in the region on the back of increased tourism and trade between East African nations and the European Union.

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