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Airlines go big on domestic travel with partnerships, new routes

By Fredrick Obura | February 9th 2021

NAIROBI, KENYA: Local airlines are angling to take advantage of domestic travel estimated to overgrow both regional and international travels combined.

Due to the effects of Covid-19 many Kenyans are still reluctant from traveling abroad as compared to within the country.

In a survey commissioned by The National Tourism Crisis Steering Committee and the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) shows that 65 per cent of travellers are willing to travel again domestically, compared to regionally(34 per cent) and Internationally (25 per cent).

The report indicates that most Kenyans were confident visiting tourist attraction sites, followed by accommodation facilities.

Esther Munyiri, Director Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), noted that the data relayed shows that there is a very high potential for domestic travel recovering first, followed by regional travel and then international travel.

This week, 748 Air Services and Skyward Express launched strategies aimed at maximizing the domestic travel earnings through new routes and partnerships with local facilities.

748 Air Services said it has signed packages with Keekorok Lodge, Mahali Mzuri, and Sarova Mara among others to create a memorable experience in one of the world’s sublime wonders.

In the last quarter of 2020, the airline strategically partnered up with various lodges and camps in the Mara and increased the frequency of flights to boost domestic tourism.

“At the moment bookings are low. We are now meeting prospective travel agents with the hope of enhancing our bookings,” said Mr. Jibril, 748 Air Services Chairman.

Skyward Express on Wednesday launched its maiden flight from Nairobi, Wilson Airport to Malindi, Malindi Airport.
The move Skyward Express has made is also likely to be well-received by the tourism sector, which has been pushing domestic tourism as a recovery measure following the decline in foreign guest arrivals linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is an exciting and pivotal moment for us. It fits within our strategy to enhance the local tourism network and to open up Malindi further to local traffic,” said Skyward Express Chairman and CEO Captain Mohamed Abdi.
“Malindi is a leading tourism destination, globally acclaimed for its pristine beaches and unique cultural sites,” said Mohamed.


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