TURKISH TO UP MOMBASA FLIGHTS TO DAILY
(Posted 09th October 2013)
After a year of operating into Mombasa, via Kilimanjaro, has Turkish Airlines now announced plans to increase their flights from presently 5 a week to daily services, connecting Kenya’s Indian Ocean port city and gateway to the fabulous beaches of Diani and Watamu to their global network. The announcement at this particular moment in time will be warmly welcomed by a beleaguered tourism fraternity at the Kenya coast, which has seen a number of charters withdraw over the past year and a half. Demands for more scheduled flights to Mombasa by more airlines have yet to yield results as the Kenyan civil aviation authorities continue to stand on the brakes, at least as far as Qatar Airways is concerned, which has for long indicated their desire to connect Mombasa to their network, but subject to be granted 5th freedom rights to another waypoint.
Meanwhile are tourism stakeholders at the coast apparently also struggling to ascertain what airlines are operating how many flights to Mombasa from the start of the winter season, which is now only weeks away, as the information given by the airport in Mombasa was found outdated and containing airlines in their listing which have long abandoned Kenya or even gone out of business. ‘The least we must expect from them is to have such data at their finger tips. After all they must know who is coming and when? Is it a sign of complacency or of a don’t care attitude? Either is bad and suggests someone somewhere is not doing their job. These are challenging times and we need all hands on deck now and not some elements go awol on us’ ranted a regular contributor from Mombasa when discussing efforts by sections of the stakeholder community at the coast to obtain this information.
Calls are also emerging that national airline Kenya Airways develop Mombasa as a second international hub to connect the Kenya coast directly to key market places, especially as it has been pointed out to this correspondent that the schedule of Kenya Airways out of Mombasa apparently no longer allows for a connection to their morning departure to Amsterdam, something a Dutch tour operator termed as ‘making selling Mombasa more difficult rather than easier’.
Meanwhile though will Turkish’s decision to fly daily put some light back on the horizon as Kenya’s coast looks ahead at better times.