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Safarilink cancels Kitale route citing bad business


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Safarilink cancels Kitale route citing bad business


A Safarilink plane. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Domestic carrier Safarilink will stop operations on the Nairobi-Kitale route next month, barely a year after restarting flights, citing bad business and infrastructure.

The airline’s chief executive Alex Avedi said the route had been hampered by high fuel costs and inadequate airport facilities, forcing it to cancel flights.

“After careful consideration, it has been determined that it is no longer financially viable to continue operating to Kitale,” the firm said.

The carrier, which predominantly plies tourist destinations, said the last flight will be on June 8. It is the only local airline on the route flying five times a week using Dash 8-100/200 aircraft.

Read: Safarilink to restart Kitale flights after two-year break

Mr Avedi said the airline was incurring high operations costs due to fuel prices, unfavourable exchange rates and inadequate airport infrastructure.

“The runway is too short, so you are limited to a 33-seater type of aircraft, and this means you can’t enjoy economies of scale. This is part of the reason why we plan to stop operations on the route,” said Mr Avedi told Business Daily on Wednesday.     

Customers who had booked tickets from June 9 will receive a full refund.

Safarilink launched its operations on the route in 2016. The flights were suspended in 2020 for two years to pave the way for renovations at the airport. The airline resumed operations on the route last year.

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