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Counties

Silverstone Air set to start Mombasa-Kisumu cargo flights

A Silverstone Air plane at Kisumu International Airport. FILE PHOTO | nmg
A Silverstone Air plane at Kisumu International Airport. FILE PHOTO | nmg 

Traders in Mombasa and Kisumu will soon have more transport options for their goods after a local carrier announced it will launch air cargo transportation between the counties.

Silverstone Air Services, which started operating direct passenger flights between the two cities in February, says the new cargo route will boost trade between the devolved units.

“We will start cargo transportation...and we are slightly cheaper. We will do all cargo and parcels apart from non-dangerous goods. For body transportation we will charge Sh40,000 only. Traders dealing with fish from the two counties who have been urging us to start transporting their commodities can now breathe a sigh of relief,” the airline's sales manager Patrick Oketch said Monday.

Silverstone Air is a fairly new entrant into the local aviation scene and has been on an expansion binge barely six months since setting up in Kenya.

The low cost carrier's passenger flights target tourists from the Western and Coastal regions and is charging about Sh10,500 for a one-way ticket between Kisumu and Mombasa.

It operates twice a week, every Friday and Sunday.

Expansion

Since its inception in October 2017, the company has employed about 186 staff.

The airline’s chief executive officer, Mohamed Somow, says the company will soon expand to operate more routes across the country.

Mombasa deputy governor William Kingi urged traders to use the airline to transport fresh tilapia consumed in Mombasa, usually transported to the port city by road.

In recent times, local fish traders have faced stiff competition from Chinese imports flooding the Kenyan market.

“With Kisumu’s strategic position on Lake Victoria and on the fringes of the Great Lakes Region, a direct link to Mombasa is a big boon for both cities. Can we explore Mombasa port to expand the market for Nyanza's fresh fish? Silverstone air services will soon fly our sea fish to Nyanza,” the deputy governor said.

Meanwhile, players in the aviation industry have urged the national government to allocate more funds to upgrading existing airstrips and international airports to support the sector.

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