New flights to Lake Turkana


(Posted 28th April 2015)

Phoenix Aviation, now owned by the Hong Kong based DNV Holdings / Frontier Services Group which is associated with Blackwater founder Erik Prince, has over the weekend announced they are set to launch a new air service from Wilson Airport to Lodwar and Kitale. The name of the new kid on the block was given as Air Turkana and their link with Phoenix could not be ascertained over and above the fact that Phoenix will operate the service using a Cessna Grand Caravan C208.

Already on the route to Lodwar is Safarilink, flying for the last nine months out of Wilson Airport but using a larger turboprop when loads necessitate it. Also operating flights to Lodwar and Lokichoggio is Fly 540.

The new airline will reportedly serve multiple destinations enroute to Kitale, starting with distant Marsabit before flying on to Loiyangalani and Lodwar before reaching Kitali, then returning the same way if passengers need picking up enroute.

The flight launch comes just weeks before the annual Turkana Festival (29th to 31st of May) and will no doubt see the seats filled when the festival goes underway.

This article prompted a response from Karen Bromham, Director of Marketing and Public Relations of
Phoenix Aviation, aimed to clarify that it is after all not Phoenix operating this service. Being
‘on the road’ means I cannot check back with my source at this stage but will do so when I return
to regular broad band coverage later this week.
Meanwhile did Karen write the following clarification:

Start quote

I was inundated with emails about the recent article you published – “Phoenix Aviation Launches New Lodwar Service”. It was a definite surprise to us, as we are not providing this service.

In the kindest way possible, I just want to point out that you have some of your facts wrong. In particular, it is Turkana Basin Institute that is operating the Lodwar service and not Phoenix Aviation – possibly why you had difficulty getting information and/or confirmation of our involvement.

I’m not sure how often you are in Kenya, as I believe you’re based in Uganda, but I’d love to sit down and have a chat and walk you through what we – Phoenix and FSG – are up to, as I’m sure we have some suitable story lines that may be of interest.

In the meantime, could you possibly make a correction to your article.

End of quote

Clarification delivered, equally in the kindest possible way.

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