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Kenyan low-cost airline, Fly540, has resumed flights between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, five years after it pulled out of the route.
On Monday, Fly540 also added Mombasa and became the first airline to operate Nairobi-Dar es Salaam-Mombasa service. The budget carrier will operate three weekly flights between Kenya and Tanzania, with plans to increase the frequency after a month.
Fly540 Corporate and Industry Affairs Director, Nixon Ooko, said: “We are resuming flights to Dar es Salaam, but with an additional route of Mombasa, which has the potential to give us good passenger numbers.”
Until now there were no flights that operated Dar es Salaam-Nairobi-Mombasa, and the carrier aims to capitalise on the new route as it seeks to expand in the East African region.
“Dar es Salaam has a lot of connection with Mombasa, but there has been never an airline that serves this route. It’s because of this that we have decided to introduce it in our schedule,” said Ooko, adding that the airline would offer competitive rates.
On Fridays, the airline will fly Nairobi-Dar es Salaam-Mombasa-Nairobi while on Wednesdays and Sundays it will fly Nairobi-Mombasa-Dar es Salaam-Nairobi.
Fly540 flies from Nairobi to Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi and Lodwar and international routes such as Nairobi-Juba, South Sudan, and Nairobi to Zanzibar.
Kenya Coast Tourism Association Chairman, Victor Shitakha, applauded Fly540’s move to add Mombasa on the Nairobi-Dar es Salaam route, saying it would make it easier for tourists from the Kenya coast to fly direct to Dar es Salaam.
“It had been difficult for travellers from Mombasa to fly directly to Dar es Salaam as passengers were forced to travel to Nairobi before connecting to the Tanzanian city,” he said.
Shitakha said hoteliers in Mombasa were banking on the new route to attract tourists from Dar es Salaam.