Airline set to launch Nairobi-Kitale flights

Cargo chartered airline Airworks is set to launch daily passenger flights from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Kitale via Eldoret, stepping up competition for passengers flying to the North Rift region.

The airline, which also provides maintenance and insurance leasing to other airlines, said the new flights will originate from Eldoret airstrip on a Dash 8-200 aircraft that carries 37 passengers.

Carriers such as Fly540, Jambojet, Fly-SAX and Skyward Express have in recent years boosted their operations in the North Rift, and Airworks entry is set to increase competition for passengers.

“We are launching the Eldoret-Kitale passenger flights starting January. This is a very busy hub that has been forgotten,” said MS Caroline Cherono, Airwork’s commercial manager.

Airworks has extensive experience in handing humanitarian cargo relief having been the approved supplier for United Nations department for peace.

The company is also flexible to change operational bases and locations based on the humanitarian requirements.

Their entry into the North Rift region is set to heighten competition between the two towns also served by Fly540 which increased its flights to the town early last year.

“The flight will depart Eldoret at 7:30am. This will ensure passengers seeking early travel reach their destination in good time.”

Domestic air transport operators have been increasing their flights to the western and the North Rift region to cash in on the expanding demand for low cost flights.

In four months, three airlines have launched or increased flights to Kisumu International Airport, stepping up competition for established carriers such as the Kenya Airways, Jambojet, Fly540 and Britex Airlines.

Freedom Airline Express started its maiden flights to lakeside city in May. The latest airline to operate the route is Safarilink Aviation Limited, bringing the number of players to seven.

Recently, Jambojet added more flights frequency on the Nairobi-Kisumu route by four to 24 trips per week.

Increased demand from travellers made Jambojet add flights from three to four on Monday, Friday and Saturday while also introducing an early morning trip on Sunday to meet the weekend demand.

The move to increase their frequencies on the Western and North Rift region comes barely a few days after local carriers Jetways Airlines and Silverstone Air Services said they will introduce scheduled flights into neighbouring countries after they acquired permits to start flying passengers beyond Kenyan borders.

Jetways Airlines, which operates Nairobi to Wajir and Maasai Mara routes, is set to start flying to Juba, Entebbe, Mogadishu and Kigali after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority issued it a one year licence beginning November 12.