Somaliland247's Blog

November 24, 2010

Second Kenyan airline launches direct flights to Somaliland


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Second Kenyan airline launches direct flights to Somaliland

By DANIEL OTIENO

Nairobi-Jetlink is set to launch flights to Eritrea and Somaliland as it seeks to establish itself in the region.

The airline is aiming at tapping the increased movement of people and goods within the East African and Comesa trading blocs.

Just a week after launching a direct international flight to Mwanza, the Hargeisa route is set to start next Monday with Eritrea being the next destination.

The company’s managing director, Mr Elly Aluvale, said the removal of trade and movement barriers had increased traffic into the East African region, hence the need for a faster and affordable means of transport.

Mr Aluvale said competition in the local aviation industry had pushed operators to charge lower prices, pegging their profits on numbers.

Mr Aluvale spoke in Mwanza when Prime Minister Raila Odinga launched the inaugural flight to the Tanzanian town on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Unfair practices

During the ceremony, Mr Aluvale decried what he termed as unfair practices that hindered competition in the market, saying the government should level the playing field.

Transport Minister Amos Kimunya said plans were under way to build a second runway at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to accommodate increased traffic.

“The expansion and modernisation of the various airport infrastructural facilities is aimed at meeting the increased demand for aviation services within Kenya and in the East African region in general,” he said.

The minister said the government would continue to negotiate and review Bilateral Air Services Agreements to expand the available routes for Kenyan airlines.

Mr Odinga said the JKIA had become Eastern Africa’s aviation hub. He said the government would improve airports in major towns to ease pressure off Nairobi.

The PM said the management of Kisumu Airport must be prepared to meet the increased traffic.

“This facility closes at 8pm. It’s time they woke up to the fresh challenges and see how they can reschedule their operations,” Mr Odinga said.

Source: Daily Nation

1 Comment »

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