Tourism bosses want Turkish airlines back

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Published on: Tuesday, June 7, 2022

From a senior marketing executive at an international airline, a leaked memo has drawn a huge volley of criticism over the government’s alleged inactivity in allowing its return flights to Mombasa.

Dr Sam Ikwaye, chief executive of the Coastal Branch of the Kenya Association of Hoteliers and Caterers, suspected the state of ignoring the process of reviving tourism by overprotecting Kenya Airways, the country’s national airline.

The memo says that although they are interested in starting MIA flights from the summer of this year, they unfortunately could not get the required clearance from the KCAA. They regret this and mention that they had to cancel flights from Mombasa until October 29, 2022. From the coast, tourism stakeholders have demanded the execution of the open skies policy. This would allow international flights to land directly in Mombasa.

Stakeholders explained that if the entry of foreign airlines into Mombasa is hassle-free, the sector will get a major boost.

Mr. Victor Shitakah, Chairman of the Kenya Coast Tourism Association, said Qatar and Turkish Airlines need to gain confidence and allow access to fly to Mombasa.

He also added that Fly Dubai and Fly Emirates are also interested in the Mombasa route.

The open skies policy means the liberalization and simplification of access and authorization to use national airports for international airlines.

Ikwaye called the recent development worrying for the tourism industry which is not surviving.

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