New Polish charter flight lands in Mombasa

MOMBASA, KENYA: An airbus A-321 from Small Planet charter operated by Tui Poland made a grand inaugural flight into Mombasa's Moi International Airport (Mia) on Thursday amid applause from tourism stakeholders.
Tourism Cabinet secretary, Mr Najib Balala was on hand to receive the inaugural flight which was welcomed by a colourful water canon salute by two fire tenders from the MIA Fire Brigade and a troupe of traditional dancers.
As the plane taxied to a stop, the two huge fire tenders that stood side by side let out plumes of water which flew over the huge aircraft before it come to a stop
Balala explained that the Kenyan Coast tourism was favoured to receive the Polish charter which will be a weekly flight touching down every Thursday until end of October.
Balala announced that the government initiated charter incentive programme was beginning to yield results adding that the Italian charters are due to resume Mombasa flights by end of July.
Onboard the aircraft which flew in from Epwa International Airport in Warsaw piloted by Captain Kuta Michel were 188 passengers.
It flew for over 10 hours with a fuel stopover at Hargada in Egypt.
'' This is incredible news . I must congratulate my staff at the Ministry, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Tui Group for all having made it possible for this flight to start Mombasa operations,'' Balala who was flanked by Acting KTB Managing Director, Ms Jacinta Mbithi Nzioka said.
He said that the Polish market was a very vibrant one with tourists from Poland regarded as high spenders.
According to Tim Remberg, Tui Group Resident Manager said that they are also banking on an additional flight over the winter season.
The KTB CEO said that the introduction of the flight would boost arrival numbers.
''Between July and November, this flight will bring in close to 3000 passengers. Last year the same period, we got 1400 passengers traveling here without a charter. This particular one translates to 100 per cent additional traffic from the Polish market,'' she said.
She added that KTB as the country's top tourism marketer is committed to support joint consumer campaigns to create demand for the flight.
On his part, Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Chief Executive, Mr Mike Macharia said that it is history in the making for Kenyan tourism as the arrival of the flight marked the first time , Kenya was receiving a direct flight from Poland in Summer.
''This is definitely a big plus. If we can pull summer and winter flights then we shall be be back in business big time,'' Macharia said.
Also present was Pollmans Safaris Managing director, Mr Khalid Shapi.