The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya Ferry Differs With Naikuni Over Delays

KENYA Ferry services has said it has capacity to handle large delegations going for special events at the South Coast noting that they can be given special privileges to ease congestion.

KFS has hit out at Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni over his recent comments that the congestion at the Likoni crossing channel in Mombasa had dented the country's image especially to tourists and visitors heading to the resort town of Diani in the South Coast.

Naikuni whose airline recently hosted the African Airlines Association annual general meeting in which over 350 delegates from 51 countries were present lamented that the delegates to the event had to endure long delays at Likoni which was a very bad show.

"We find his sentiments unfair to Kenya Ferry Services and more so in the context of the clientele he was handling," said KFS in a statement sent to newsrooms.

"We encourage institutions to make prior arrangements with us if they require special services or if they have a major event with a national outlook or any event which they would like to be facilitated."

Naikuni said that delegates had complained over being delayed at the Likoni channel and asked the Kenya Airports Authority to speed up upgrade and renovations at the Ukunda air strip in Diani to allow KQ to fly directly to that holiday destination so that visitors can have more options to travel by air.

KQ is unable to fly to Ukunda air strip because it has a short runway that makes it impossible for its large planes to land there. However Air Kenya has some flights into Diani through this air strip.

KFS said Naikuni should be the "last person" to talk about delays at Likoni arguing that KQ also suffers numerous delayed flights that inconvenience passengers sometimes.

"We get delayed at the airport...We stay calm knowing that these are just man made machines which can let you down anytime. The bashing was therefore not necessary," KFS added in its statement.

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