As the Qatar Airways Airbus A320 aircraft touched down at the Moi International Airport, Mombasa on Sunday with over 100 visitors on board, Kenya‘s tourism sector was again marking another good score.
Leaders and tourism players who turned to welcome the new airline said the inaugural flight was timely as it has the potential to open Mombasa to over 120 holiday destinations globally.
Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa managing director, Bobby Kamani, said the direct flight from Doha to Mombasa will speed up revival of the sector.
“In addition to direct flights from Nairobi to New York that was launched in October, we can also look forward to have more visitors coming to the Coast due to the launch of Qatar Airways. Kenyan hoteliers in the coast region will now be able to benefit from travellers not only visiting from Doha but from all those cities across the globe that Doha is connected to by Qatar Airways,” he said.
“Qatar’s entry into the Kenyan coast could not have come at a better time when international travellers have begun to show more confidence in the safety, stability and attractiveness of the region. Diani as a region will also benefit from this new sector,” he added.
Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi said the airline’s entry is a big vote of confidence for the local tourism.
“It is another score for Kenya in the tourism sector and with the December holidays just in the offing, this is a nice time for visitors to enjoy Mombasa’s tranquility,” said Dr Kingi when he welcomed the inaugural flight.
The aircraft has 12 business class seats and 120 seats in economy class and will be operating four weekly scheduled flights to the coastal city.
|The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) chief executive Betty Radier echoed Dr Kingi’s sentiments saying the direct flight was an endorsement of Kenya as a favourable tourism destination globally. “This is good news for the sector and together with the private sector, KTB will look into ways of partnering with Qatar Airways as well as other aircrafts to increase passenger numbers into routes,” Dr Radier said.