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September 20, 2018

Better tourism will increase revenue – Raila

 e new Safarilink aircraft at Kisumu airport on Monday /MAURICE ALAL
 e new Safarilink aircraft at Kisumu airport on Monday /MAURICE ALAL

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for exploitation of tourism in Western to improve revenue.

He said there is massive potential in the Western circuit which should be tapped by county and national governments.

Raila yesterday attended the launch of Safarilink flights at the Kisumu International Airport. The lakeside city is a tourism hub in the Western circuit.

Safarilink will fly twice a day from Kisumu to Wilson Airport, and from Wilson to Kisumu. A one-way ticket will cost Sh4,500, including taxes. 

He said Kisumu offers convenient connections to the Maasai Mara, Pemba, Zanzibar, Diani, Lamu, Nairobi and Mombasa from destinations within the East African Community.

Raila urged national and international investors to take advantage of the opportunities and bring more flights to Kisumu.

"We need to encourage domestic and international flights in Kisumu because of its strategic location in East Africa," he said. 

The NASA leader said Kisumu is destined to do big business ahead of the construction of the standard gauge railway from Naivasha.

Tourism CS Najib Balala said tourism in Western Kenya should be expanded. 

Balala said the region has numerous tourism sites. They praised Safarilink management for launching the new flight on the Nairobi-Kisumu route.

The new airline is expected to increase competition for operators on the same route.

Safarilink has a network of domestic connecting flights within Kenya and across the border into northern Tanzania.

It is expected to help make Kisumu a premier lakeside city destination.

Safarilink Aviation Ltd chief executive Alex Avedi said the Kisumu route will use newly acquired aircraft with a capacity of 52 passengers.

Passengers will fly daily from Kisumu through Wilson Airport  to Diani, Mombasa (Vipingo), Lamu and Zanzibar with minimum waiting time.

Likewise, connections from Kisumu to the Maasai Mara, Laikipia and other safari destinations will be possible within a short time upon arrival at Wilson. 

“We believe our service will play a key role in providing reliable accessibility to and from the major tourist attractions,” Avedi said.

The twice-daily service to Kisumu means 14 flights per week. Flights will depart from Wilson Airport at 10.45am and and at 5.45pm. 

Flights from Kisumu to Wilson will depart at 11.45am and 7pm.

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