Domestic carrier Safarilink will in the next three weeks restart direct flights to Kitale after a two-year hiatus, following the reopening of the airstrip after renovation.
The airline that was launched in 2004 and markets itself as a tourist destination carrier will deploy a Dash 8-100 type of aircraft on the route flying five times a week down from a daily frequency to Kitale starting April 21, 2022.
Passengers heading to Kitale from Nairobi will pay Sh6,500 on a one-way ticket, prices that are relatively cheaper than when the airline stopped operations on the route.
Kitale was one of the routes operated by the carrier in the North Rift region from its hub at Wilson Airport in Nairobi.
The return of Safarilink to the North Rift town in Trans-Nzoia County is set to step up competition on pricing with other low-cost carriers planning to resume operations on the route.
The airline suspended flights to Kitale in early 2020 following the renovation of the airport.
Works on the project entailed expanding the runway to accommodate larger aircrafts.
“We will be resuming passenger operations from Nairobi to Kitale on April 21, 2022,” said Safarilink CEO Alex Avedi told the Business Daily in an interview on Friday.
Safarilink flies to major tourist destinations of Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Lamu and Kilimanjaro, among other routes.
It also provides charter flight services across the East African region.
East African aviation formerly Fly-SAX also used to fly directly to Kitale from Wilson Airport and its comeback on the route is set to offer competition for customers flying in and out of the town known for its food production.
Eldoret, which is about 70 kilometres from Kitale, was also previously served by Fly540 which also increased its flights to the town early 2015.
Skyward Express on the other hand started flying to Eldoret in August 2015, adding to its other routes of Wajir, Mandera, Lodwar and Kisumu and Mombasa which were added later on.