Business / News
Saturday, 28 May 2016 11:04 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Mombasa is set to become the 151st destination for the Emirates Airlines after governor Hassan Joho met with the company’s senior officials in Dubai.
Joho held a meeting with Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President (DSVP) Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimization and Aeropolitical Affairs, and Trevor Chong, Vice President Route Planning and Economics, to discuss the prospects of Mombasa becoming Emirates destination at the Emirates Group Office in Dubai.
Joho, who has been in Turkey for this year’s Strong Cities Network global summit, was on his way back to the country before he met with the Emirates officials.
Joho said during the meeting Kazim shared key insights of the Emirates experience which allowed them to finalize the process of aligning key priorities that will enhance the Mombasa experience as destination of choice.
“We discussed the various efforts that Mombasa has made in making it clean and green for residents, visitors and ensuring the safety of visiting airline crew,” said Joho in a statement.
“I shared the promotion strategy that the County has embarked on in attracting visitors from new markets beyond the traditional markets and the prospects of the hotel chain Sheraton, and various cruise liners in enhancing its experience.”
The governor said the meeting underscored the importance of protecting the Mombasa's natural heritage and hospitality of its destination by ensuring they tell their own story.
He said the DSVP and Mombasa government established a working group to finalize the feasibility of Mombasa as a destination of choice.
The working group will be led by Mombasa Transport Executive Taufiq Balala and Chong, the Emirates President Route Planning & Economics.
Joho was accompanied by Finance and Environment Executives Hazel Koitaba and Tendai Mtana respectively, and Economic Advisor Ahmed Farah.
Tourism stakeholders at the Coast have been calling for more direct international flights to the Moi International Airport Mombasa.
Currently the airport has been receiving only the Turkish and Ethiopian airlines.
Mohammed Hersi, the chairperson of the Kenya Coast Tourists Association said the Kenyan government should allow the other international flights to start flying directly to Mombasa.
He said Kenya should allow other Middle East carriers to fly directly to Mombasa.
“Were it not for Turkish Airlines and Ethiopian airlines, Mombasa and Kenya coast would be dead and buried today. With the drying up of charters, we must encourage and lobby some of the successful airlines to come to Mombasa,” said Hersi.
He said five years ago Kenya denied Qatar Airways from coming to Mombasa and they were happily received in Zanzibar and now that rival destination is easily connected to five cities in United Kingdom alone.