Counties

Skyward adds four flights in North Coast

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A Skyward Express aircraft. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Coast domestic tourism has received a boost after Skyward Express airline announced the reintroduction of four weekly flights to connect Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu counties.
  • The flights, which shall resume tomorrow, shall bridge the gap left in the North Coast air transport after the government banned flights from Nairobi to Malindi and Lamu to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Coast domestic tourism has received a boost after Skyward Express airline announced the reintroduction of four weekly flights to connect Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu counties.

The flights, which shall resume tomorrow, shall bridge the gap left in the North Coast air transport after the government banned flights from Nairobi to Malindi and Lamu to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Most business and holiday travellers from Lamu to Malindi and Mombasa prefer air travel, which takes about 30 minutes compared to the road that takes about four to five hours between Mombasa and Lamu.

Besides, several cases of Al Shabaab terror attacks on public service vehicles over the past years along the Sh10 billion Garsen-Witu-Lamu Road, which is under construction seems to have scared away some travellers from using the road.

In a press release, the Skyward Express airline said they would be operating every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from Moi International Airport in Mombasa to Malindi and Lamu Airports.

Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers Kilifi chairperson Maureen Awuor expressed optimism that the reintroduction of flights would attract more visitors to the region.

“Domestic tourism was picking up well until it was disrupted by the third wave of Covid-19 that prompted the government to put in place further restriction to stop the spread of the virus,” she said.

Ms Awuor, who is also the Ocean Beach Resort general manager in Malindi, said tourism players suffered a blow during the highly anticipated Easter festivities after 90 per cent of bookings were cancelled.

During the Easter holiday, the beaches at Bunthwani, Oasis, Silver Sand, Marine Park in Malindi and Watamu experienced low numbers of revellers compared to past holidays.

Last month, the government banned movement into and out of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru in a fresh bid to curb a spike in coronavirus infections.