Great Airways Limited and Mombasa Air Safari have introduced flights to Homa Bay town’s Kabunde Airstrip after most airlines withdrew their aircrafts due to lack of passengers.
The aircraft, which will make four flights per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) between Kabunde Airstrip and Wilson Airport in Nairobi, charges between Sh7,000 and Sh12,000.
Previously, airlines like Blue Sky Aviation, Silverstone Air, Fly 540 and East African Safari Air operated on the route.
Homa Bay County Water and Environment Executive Dickson Nyawinda, Tourism Chief Officer Moses Buriri and Mombasa Air Safari representative Fredrick Onyango unveiled a 13-seater aircraft at Kabunde Airstrip on Friday.
The introduction of new flights seeks to promote tourism at Ruma National Park and other tourist destinations in Homa Bay County. The two firms are planning to introduce flights to other counties across South Nyanza region
The company is encouraging passengers from Kisii, Migori, Bomet and Nyamira to use Kabunde Airstrip instead of travelling to Kisumu to catch a flight to Nairobi.
“Traveling to Nairobi through Kisumu takes a lot of time, it is convenient for residents of South Nyanza to use Kabunde,” Mr Onyango said. He encouraged businesspeople to take advantage of the new flight.
"We plan to introduce another flight to Kisumu, we also operate in Lodwar, Lamu, Mombasa," he said.
The introduction of the new flights is expected to boost the county’s economy. Mr Nyawinda said that his department is undertaking projects, among them water supply, to help Kabunde Airstrip grow.
“The Kabunde Airstrip water project is 55 per cent complete,” Mr Nyawinda said.
Mr Buriri said the airstrip will open up the county for tourism.
Kenya Airports Authority has embarked on plans to expand the airstrip to accommodate larger aircrafts.