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Shipping & Logistics

Airlines step up flights on Coast routes as high season kicks in

Tourists arrive in Mombasa last year. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG
Tourists arrive in Mombasa last year. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG 

German holiday airline Condor will from next month increase flights to Mombasa following an upsurge in summer bookings.

Similarly, Italian leisure airlines Neos, and Meridiana are expected to resume flights to the coastal city by the end of July due to a rise in bookings for the summer season.

According to Thomas Cook Group Airlines corporate communications spokesperson Susanne Rihm, Condor will operate three weekly flights from Germany to Mombasa

“In summer 2017, we are flying from Frankfurt to Mombasa twice a week and one flight a week from Munich to Mombasa,” she said.

Rihm pointed out that Condor will increase flights from two to three a week on the Frankfurt-Mombasa route and one flight from Munich in the winter of 2017/2018.

“The bookings to Mombasa are beyond our expectations. That is why we will increase our flights to Mombasa in Winter 2017/2018,” she said.

Ocean Beach Resort, Malindi, managing director Roberto Marini said Italian chartered airlines Neos and Meridiana are expected to resume flights between Italy and Mombasa next month.

He said that the two airlines would operate flights to Mombasa during the summer season due to an increase in tourists visiting the coast for holiday.

Turkish Airlines is also expected to increase flights between Istanbul and Mombasa from next month.

The airline’s marketing manager, Carol Mukinya, said the carrier would increase flights to Kenya’s tourism hub from the current five per week to seven in July.

She attributed the increase in flights to the peak season which begins next month, adding that passenger numbers were on the rise.

Schedule flights

“Between May and this month we have been operating five flights a week due to the low season which comes to an end on June 30,” she said.

“Through our weekly flights from the Istanbul hub we expect to fly more tourists to Mombasa for them to come and enjoy,” she said.

Turkish Airlines, she said, will connect Mombasa with 300 other destinations which the carrier flies to across the world.

The airline is the only one from Europe operating scheduled flights to Mombasa.

Apart from European airlines, regional airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines and RwandAir also operate flights to Mombasa.

Ethiopian Airlines operates flights to Mombasa from its hub at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, while RwandAir flies to the coastal city from its Kigali hub.

Local airlines flying to Mombasa include national carrier Kenya Airways, low-cost airline Jambojet, budget carrier Skyward Express and Fly540.

In Nairobi, German airline Lufthansa announced that it will increase flights between Frankfurt and Nairobi to six per week from June 21.

Lufthansa, which is the largest airline in Europe in terms of fleet size, plans to increase operations on the Frankfurt-Nairobi route from five flights a week to six.

“We are excited to further support tourism in Kenya by providing more capacity for visitors. At the same time giving Kenyan travellers more options for their summer holidays,’’ said Lufthansa Group East Africa regional sales general manager Tobias Ernst.

The Lufthansa service will be operated on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays by an Airbus A340-300.

On the other hand, Swiss International Air Lines is expected to increase flights between Zurich and Nairobi from five per week to six beginning July 6.

Tourism secretary Najib Balala attributed the rise in bookings to improved security in the country, infrastructure development projects and marketing campaigns in overseas markets.

Mr Balala said the government had in the last two financial years spent Sh2bn on marketing tourism. He that the Kenya Tourism Board carried out tourism promotions in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, the US, China, and India.

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