Saturday, 9 June 2018

KENYA: Silverstone Air Services To Commence Nairobi, Mombasa Flights

Silverstone Air Services is to start flights between Nairobi and Mombasa next month, targeting tourists on the coastal circuit.

The airline last October launched commercial flights from Nairobi to Kisumu and Ukunda having previously operated as a charter-only carrier.

Silverstone Air sales manager Patrick Oketch on Tuesday said the airline will be charging about Sh4,500 for a start for a one-way ticket between Nairobi-Mombasa.

We are planning to introduce direct flights from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Mombasa by next month, said Mr Oketch in an interview.

The departure time from Wilson Airport to Mombasa will be 10am while departure time from Mombasa to Nairobi will be 11:30am.

There will also be a second flight leaving Wilson Airport at 5:00pm to Mombasa from Nairobi daily, he said.

Silverstone Air has been expanding barely six months since it established its operations in the Kenyan market.

The low-cost carrier’s passenger flights target tourists from the Western and Coastal regions, charging between Sh4,500-Sh10,000 for a one-way ticket between Kisumu and Mombasa.

In April, the local airline increased frequency on the Nairobi-Kisumu route to 17 trips per week, up from 14, while passengers travelling to Mombasa from Kisumu are now served by three weekly flights, an increase from two.

Traders in Mombasa and Kisumu will soon have more transport options for their goods after Silverstone Air Services 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 Services is a fairly new entrant into the local aviation scene and has been on an expansion trail 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.

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.


Tourism Observer
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