Airlines Resumes Routes, Raising Hopes of Recovery

Tourism stakeholders are optimistic over the aviation industry’s recovery following Kenya Airways resumption of service on the Nairobi-New York route on November 29, despite low bookings ahead of the Yuletide holiday.

Regionally, last week, Uganda Airlines announced resumption of direct flights from Uganda to Mombasa. The flights, which resumed on December 4, have also lifted prospects of business between the two countries. The flights are scheduled for three frequencies weekly, on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.

The route will add value to travellers from Entebbe who no longer have to spend three to four hours connection time in Nairobi.

In a statement, Uganda Airlines Country Manager Peggy Macharia said the one-hour 50-minute trip will target business people who depend on the port of Mombasa as well as tourists to the Coastal holiday destination.

Read also: Air Tanzania Resumes Flights to Entebbe, Uganda

Macharia said “we are delighted to be relaunching flights to port city of Mombasa in addition to our existing Entebbe – Nairobi flights that resumed in October. Amidst Covid-19, Uganda Airlines commits to keeping passengers safe and healthy, through strict adherence to approved standard operating procedures.”

Kenya Tourism Federation chairman Mohammed Hersi said international tourists will play a key role in ensuring tourism sector bounces back from the effects of Covid-19.

Hersi said “players in the sector have complied with all health protocols and they are ready to receive tourists from around the world, because domestic visitors alone cannot bring back to life the sector as it was before Covid-19. KQ resuming direct flights to New York will bring confidence and we hope to have more visitors in the first quarter of 2021.”

KQ has offered special discounts to passengers who book their New York flights in December as part of the phased relaunch of routes that had been suspended in March.

Related: Uganda re-launches national airline with maiden flight to Kenya

Uganda Airlines currently operates the Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Bujumbura, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro, Mogadishu, and Juba routes using Bombadier CRJ-900.

With more airlines resuming international service, players in the tourism sector which depends mostly on travel for its survival are hoping for less government Covid-19 restrictions.

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