Information received this morning indicates that Kenya’s – and the region’s – first true low-cost carrier, Fly540. will begin scheduled operations to a number of Kenya’s safari parks from Wilson Airport beginning June 10. The airline has for a while now been flying to the Masai Mara, and new destinations are Samburu, Nanyuki, and Lewa Downs on the northern circuit and also Amboseli – all popular tourist destinations across Kenya.
The start of new flights, which will be operated depending on demand with a B1900, a Dash 8, or the larger ATR, indicates that Kenya has now truly emerged from the downturn in tourism fortunes in 2008 and part of 2009, and the added seats will, according to information from Nairobi, be snapped up quickly by an expanding safari market and the growing demand for air safaris in the upmarket bracket.
Fly 540 Tanzania is already connecting passengers arriving from their daily Nairobi service from Kilimanjaro International – located between Arusha and Moshi – to the parks of Manyara, Ngorongoro, and Serengeti on a scheduled basis, and the addition of scheduled services to the Kenyan national parks will only add to the appeal to fly to an ever-increasing number of domestic and regional destinations with the LCC.
It is also understood that new plans for the Ugandan operation of Fly540 are also at an advanced stage but not yet ready to be shared with the public, and the competition, upon which Fly540 intends to spring some major surprises in the not-too-distant future.