Thomson launches first regular B787 service to Mombasa


(Posted 04th December 2013)

A regular source from Mombasa has confirmed that Thomson Holidays has now started using their B787-8 Dreamliner on the route from London Gatwick to Mombasa, offering more seats and greater inflight comfort for passengers opting to spend their holiday at the sundrenched beaches of Mombasa, Watamu or Malindi.

This makes Thompson the first airline to bring the B787 into Mombasa on a regular basis, with the flight offering a total of 288 seats, 47 in premium and 241 in economy class.

Thomson uses such award winning resorts as the Leopard Beach Resort & Spa and the Swahili Beach Hotel located at Diani Beach, besides TUI’s own Baobab Beach Resort.

The switch from the smaller B767’s to the B787 was broadly welcomed by the coast tourism fraternity but at the same time were also demands made on the government to extend broader support to marketing the Kenya coast, which has been enjoying lower occupancies compared to past years.

I hear you managed to get VAT scrapped on your safari accommodation in Uganda? Perhaps our own government can now follow suit because safari packages from the coast to Tsavo and Amboseli have increased in cost as a result of the VAT charges. Tourism in Kenya needs tax relief, not additional taxes and the county governments should think twice before they also start taxing us more. Our occupancies right now are a lot lower than last year and the forecasts for January to Easter are less than we hoped for. We keep saying that Mombasa needs more flights, charters and scheduled flights. It is good to read that Kenya Airways has added more flights between Nairobi and Mombasa but we fear that might just be for the peak season over the holidays and then they reduce them again’ commented a regular contributor from Mombasa yesterday when asked for a reaction on the launch of B787 flights to the Kenyan coast. Another source though was dwelling on the diplomatic spat between Britain and Kenya when saying: ‘Our government should think twice of how they treat Britain and so should our media. The issues of the ICC court cases are the issues of those individuals and our trade and tourism relations with Britain need to be maintained, not endangered by reckless talk and reckless actions. Right now we only have one charter from Britain but in the past we had several from different places including Manchester. We in tourism cannot go to WTM and promote the country in the UK and then knee jerk reactions by our government over issues which are not national issues but individual issues wipe out the gains we made. At least I know you will print this but those are the sentiments of many people in tourism right now. We hope that when we celebrate our 50th anniversary of Independence next week these issues can be put to rest and we can focus again on the positive side of relations with Britain and get more Brits to visit Kenya’.

On the upside, the use of a larger aircraft on the route to Mombasa should go a long way to show that not all is lost and that the appeal of the destination and of the coast’s top resorts will continue to bring in visitors, not just for the upcoming holiday season but across the entire year. Well, a bit of good news is better than no good news at all. Watch this space.

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