A local airline has launched two daily flights from Wilson Airport to Kisumu International Airport to tap into the huge demand of air travel along the route.
The entrance of Fly Silverstone Airline brings to five number of airlines plying the route with 24 scheduled flights daily. Other airlines plying the route include Kenya Airways, Fly 540, Jambo Jet and Reliance Air.
Fly Silverstone Managing Director Captain Somo Mohammed said the firm shall offer faster and cheaper flights along the route to open up Kisumu for business and tourism. Passengers, he said will be charged Ksh 4,500 one way giving the airline a competitive edge in the crowded market.
He added that passengers using the airline’s 50 carrier Dash 8 aircraft shall manage to avoid the hectic traffic jam and rigorous check in process at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Speaking at Kisumu International Airport where the airline made its maiden flight today, Mohammed said an additional flight has been launched from Wilson Airport to Ukunda to serve the coastal market.
The airline, he added has embarked on a modernisation and expansion programme that will see new daily flights to other counties that have the infrastructure in place launched.
Among those earmarked for the programmes is Isiolo, Marsabit, Moyale, Malindi and Lamu. He added that plans were underway to launch direct flights from Kisumu to Mombasa.
“We have received so many requests for this service. We are conducting a feasibility study and once we are certain that it is viable we shall launch immediately,” said David Ojwang, Fly Silverstone’s Finance Manager.
Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o said the entrance of the new airline is set to boost business travel and reposition Kisumu as a regional economic hub. This, he added shall further reduce the costs of air transport along the route.
The increased interest in air transport to the region, he said was an indicator of growth. He asked the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to modernise and expand Kisumu International Airport to handle larger aircraft’s. “We want to see this facility upgraded to handle cargo aircrafts to help our farmers export horticultural produce,” he said.
The County Government, he said, has received proposals from potential investors ready to partner with KAA to set up hotels and other infrastructure at the airport.
He urged the national government to consider supporting the county government to engage the partners as envisaged in the Intergovernmental Relations Act.