Kenya nets Sh3.7bn from charter incentive

A tourist and Tourism CS Najib Balala at Moi Airport yesterday / ERNEST
A tourist and Tourism CS Najib Balala at Moi Airport yesterday / ERNEST

Kenya gained Sh3.7 billion in revenue from a charter incentive programme launched in December 2015, Tourism CS Najib Balala has said.

The programme expired in June following a 30-month run, which the government extended to 2020.

Balala yesterday said he is in talks with the National Treasury for an additional two years.

“By then, all the necessary infrastructure will be ready and we anticipate another Sh1.7 billion revenue net,” Balala said.

The package includes a waiver of landing fees at Mombasa and Malindi airports for all charter aircraft terminating at the Kenyan coast.

It also considers a passenger subsidy of $30 (Sh3,052) per seat for all charter flights landing at the Coast with a minimum 80 per cent capacity.

Kenya Tourism Federation wants the incentive to also include local carriers. Chairman Mohamed Hersi said the cost of flight should be reduced. He noted 60 per cent of airfare is tax.

“If airlines are discouraged from flying, we won’t get anything,” Hersi said.

Balala and Hersi spoke at Moi International Airport Mombasa when Tui Netherlands aircraft landed with 20 tourists.

This is the third charter flight under the incentive program to land in Mombasa in the last one month.

Belgium’s Tui and Poland’s LOT jetted-in with 315 and 250 visitors respectively. LOT will be landing twice a week with an average of 500 visitors.

“Seamless process is key. Clients come here and get frustrated. This beats the purpose of having this incentive,” he said.