Retailing from US$99, the daily flights kicked off on July 1 and are scheduled to fly from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport landing at Vipingo Ridge’s airstrip.
According to Safari Link’s Managing Director John Buckley, the flights are not scheduled for Vipingo Ridge visitors only, but include those travelling to Kilifi to tour, for business or as residents.
“We hope that the Flights will open up some of Kilifi County’s beautiful coastline to its residents, leisure travellers, golfers, the business community and county government officials,” said Buckley.
His sentiments were echoed by Kilifi’s Governor Amason Kingi. According to Kingi, the daily flights will facilitate in the revival of Kenya’s north coast following a rough two years of terror attacks along Lamu and travel advisories issued against the region by countries with key tourists among other factors.
“The county is set to benefit from Safari Link’s decision to fly daily to Vipingo Ridge. For starters, Vipingo Ridge is much more accessible for many people in the county when compared to Moi International Airport. This means more entry into the county, which is set to help push the economy of the county forward,” he said.
According to the governor, long hours taken to travel to traffic infested Moi International Airport, Mombasa, is a key reason as to why people shy away from travelling to the north coast.
“No one wants to spend two hours from the Central Business District to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi, one hour on air, then two more hours navigating from Moi International Airport to Kilifi. For many people, especially those from Nairobi, spending five hours travelling for a weekend while there is Naivasha or Nanyuki to go to, automatically rules out Kilifi.”
Kilifi, primarily a tourism destination because of its coastline, is also notable because of other great attractions such as Sokoke Arabuko Forest, cashew nuts and its wild birdlife among others. But these have been downplayed because of inaccessibility, a problem that Safari Link hopes to solve.
The General Manager of Vipingo Ridge Mike Round-Turner also applauded Safari Link for their decision to fly daily into Kilifi. Turner said that the flights brought convenience and accessibility to the county.
“Not only does the service provide our guests with direct access to an exciting new business and tourism destination, it also further strengthens our presence in East Africa and the entire region,” Turner said.
Safari Link already flies daily to the Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Lewa and Lodwar among other places.