Polish airline launches weekly Mombasa flights


A section of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A Polish charter airline will be flying weekly to Mombasa as it moves to cash in on the festive season. The maiden flight to the coastal town on Saturday had 189 passengers.

The carrier dubbed Smartwings Airlines will be operating bringing in about 200 tourists from Poland, and is expected to push up the regions hotel occupancy rates above the current 70 percent.

It will be operating once a week until end of the year before increasing its frequency to twice a week from January to March next year.

Hoteliers have expressed confidence in the resumption of the airline saying it will boost the tourism sector during the November to December peak season.

“This is the first charter we are welcoming this year of the Polish market. It is very exciting because the whole of these three months this year, they will be bringing in a charter per week, that’s about 200, visitors coming in from Poland,” said Kenya Coast Tourism Association chairman Victor Shitakha.

He said from January next year, two charters will be landing in the country from Poland weekly.

“The charter started supporting Kenya from 2006, and we are grateful. In 2014, the numbers dipped to about 7,000 passengers from Poland, but last year they doubled when they brought in 15,500. Next year is promising, we can count on the Polish market,” Mr Shitakha, a hotelier added.

The tourists were booked in different hotels in South and North coast hotels.