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Nairobi-Moyale flight to boost trade

By Awal Mohammed | February 14th 2021
Treasury CS Ukur Yatani (R) and Freedom Airline Chairman Abdulkadir Ali (L) during the official launch of Freedom Airline from Wilson Airport to Moyale. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Marsabit County residents will enjoy directs flight from Nairobi after Freedom Airlines launched its inaugural flight to Moyale.

The twice a week flight will be the first in the county that has solely relied on the 10-hour road transport from the capital since independence.

Speaking during the official flag-off ceremony, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said the flights will boost trade in the region.

"The arid and semi-arid regions in this country are no longer in the periphery of development, this flight will open this region to the rest of the country," he said.

The inaugural flight comes a few years after completion of the Nairobi-Moyale highway linking the country to Ethiopia.

The highway, which is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project, was constructed at a cost of Sh42 billion as the nation seeks to expand its road network away from the Mombasa-Uganda corridor that passes through Nairobi and much of the northern Rift Valley.

The road has reduced travelling distance between Nairobi and Moyale to 10 hours. Previously, travel on this route was torturous, with days spent on unforgiving bumpy terrain that would last three days with stops at Merille and Laisamis.

The flight will reduce the travelling time to one and half hours with the one-way ticket going for Sh8,000.

Freedom Airlines operations manager Abdirizack Muhammed said the venture to upper north was necessitated by the huge demand from the area.

“Moyale has grown over the last few years, and the demand for a flight has always been high considering the cross border business between Kenya and Ethiopia, we are certain this market will grow,” he said.

The flight to Moyale makes the airline the only aviation firm that travels to all the northern frontier region in the country.

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