BY RAYMOND MWAKWAYA
Tourism sector came alive on Saturday morning of July 24, 2021 when 150 passengers jetted at the Moi International Airport Mombasa (MIAM) aboard Lufthansa’s commercial flight operated by Euro Wings Discover – the newest leisure airline within the Group.
This new direct flight from Germany to Mombasa will be operating two weekly flights on Sundays and Thursdays.
The importance of the flight to tourism stakeholders and hoteliers was evident by the arranged welcoming ceremony of the Airbus A330 aircraft when it touched down at the airport to water cannon salute from the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) fire engines.
At hand to welcome the enthusiastic visitors aboard the flight with song and dance was the Bombolulu Cultural dance troupe with all the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 protocols in tow.
The subsidiary of Lufthansa Group, Euro Wings Discover, operates different flights out of Frankfurt and takes travellers to different parts of the world’s most beautiful short and long haul destinations.
Tourism principal secretary Safina Kwekwe led Kenya’s government delegation to welcome the Germany’s the aircraft that was en route to the Spicy Island of Indian Ocean’s Zanzibar. The flight discharged 150 at the airport before proceeding to Zanzibar with another 140 passengers to discharge there.
”We are delighted to receive this Euro Wings Discover flight today. As a country, we are working towards ensuring a conducive environment that allows a vibrant air travel system and in the process supports tourism activities,” the PS said.
According to her the new direct flight gives hope to the country’s full tourism recovery after two years of low business levels occasioned by the ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Allan Njoroge, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) secretary who represented managing director Dr Betty Radier said the coming of the flight signalled the growing confidence from the European market saying the management of Covid-19 has enhanced traveller-confidence in the country.
”The commencement of these direct flights to Mombasa by Euro Wings Discover would offer a different opportunity to travellers who wanted to visit for both leisure and business,” Dr Radier said.
The German Ambassador to Kenya Annet Gunter said that the arrival of the new airline was a historical event that served as testimony to excellent bilateral relations that exists between Kenya and Germany.
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) acting managing director Alex Gitari said they were excited at the prospects of having to handle many more international airlines.
The completion project of upgrading the airport puts it in a good steady to receiving the direct flights from the European markets being the second largest international airport after the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.
Chief commercial officer Euro Wings Discover Helmut Woelfel said the newest leisure airline will support and help the recovery of the Kenya’s tourism sector which has been on the slumpdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.
According to him the airline is the only one serving MIA with direct flights from European market and this will also help international tourists in discovering Kenya’s magical destinations of choice.
The airline intends to be flying to Kenya twice a week and gradually increase the flights to four times a week by next year.
Edited by Mwakera Mwajefa