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Shipping & Logistics

Fly540 to launch weekly Lokichar flight next year

Travellers disembark from a Fly540 airplane at Malindi International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Travellers disembark from a Fly540 airplane at Malindi International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Airline operator Fly540 will start flying the Lokichar route next year as it seeks to grow revenue from the oil exploration activity in the region.

The company says the weekly flight to Kapese airstrip is meant to reopen up Turkana by offering air transport between Lokichar and Nairobi.

The company’s corporate and industry affairs director, Nixon Ooko, says they will offer transport to firms involved in the oil business.

“We want to open up Turkana to the rest of the world and want to do this by introducing flights to Kapese airstrip in Turkana,” said Mr Ooko. It will deploy a 37-seater on the route.

The move will heighten competition on the route as Safarilink also plies the route, with rivalry expected to go up as oil find in Turkana continues to attract more airlines.

Safarilink flies from Wilson Airport to the Lodwar airstrip via Kapese with a five weekly flight since September 2014. The opening of Kapese airstrip, which is mainly used by oil explorer Tullow, came as a relief to travellers who initially had to land in Lodwar town before making a 150km trip back to Lokichar. Fly 540 has a Lodwar route.

Astral Aviation, an international cargo aircraft, plans to start a two weekly cargo flight from JKIA to Kapese as soon as next month.

Sanjeev Gadhia, the managing director of Astral, says Kapese presents a good business opportunity that will enable the company to deliver goods and services to the oil and gas workers.

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