Nairobi — The Kenyan coast is set to receive more international tourists during the tourism peak season following the commencement of direct flights to the region by Eurowings Discover.
Eurowings Discover, the newest leisure airline within the Lufthansa Group, commenced its flights on the 24th of July 2021 with two weekly flight services from Frankfurt, Germany to Mombasa, with onward flights to the region.
Speaking during the reception of the inaugural flight at the Moi International Airport Mombasa, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said that the flight was a testament to the strides Kenya is making in the recovery of tourism activities, which were minimal due to restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He noted that the Kenyan coast was a popular destination for European tourists adding that the flight would create a link between Kenya and European travellers.
"Kenya has been making great progress as a destination in attracting tourists from different markets and especially from Europe. This flight is yet another milestone in the recovery of activities in the country. The Kenyan Coast is especially showing great interest from tourists from across Europe and beyond. A few months ago, we received the first ever Romanian charter followed by another charter from Ukraine in Mombasa. The commencement of flights by Eurowings Discover will help us link with both Business and leisure clients from Germany and the region," said CS Balala.
He further added that Germany and Europe remain to be a key source market for tourists with the potential of further growth with the new emerging younger consumers and the continued relations between Kenya and European countries.
"With the emergence of new market trends and a new consumer segment, we have an opportunity to expand our markets and to reach the now younger and health-conscious clientele. We are using every opportunity to showcase our preparedness as a destination as well as improving our experiences and tourism destinations to remain competitive over other destinations. Europe is a market that offers us a different opportunity, with the vaccination of citizens, more people will be looking forward to travel and we want to be ready for this," he added.
On her part, the Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Safina Kwekwe reiterated that the government was working towards ensuring that a conducive environment that allows a vibrant air travel system and in the process support tourism activities. "This development also gives us hope and reassures us that people are eager to travel and experience the world yet again, as a destination we are working hard to ensure that we are ready to host tourists,"she added.
The Kenya Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Betty Radier welcomed the new Eurowings Discover flight to Kenya saying that it signalled the growing confidence in the destination by tourists in regards to preparedness against COVID-19 which has enhanced traveller confidence. She added that Eurowings Discover would offer a different opportunity to travellers who wanted to visit for both leisure and business.
"Commencement of this direct flight to Mombasa by Eurowings Discover shows that the work we have been putting in is bearing fruits which makes us immensely proud. We shall continue to market Kenya to the world to ensure that we tap into each available market. That said, this flight is a signal of this growth and confidence in Magical Kenya as a preferred destination globally," said Radier.
With more countries vaccinating their citizens across the world and most beginning to relax their travel restrictions, there is an increased demand of people yearning to travel, relax and explore across the globe.
This creates an opportunity for destinations to tap into this, putting into consideration the need to reassure visitors of their health as well as offering different tourism opportunities.
Airlines are also alert to ensure that they offer a variety of travel opportunities for their clients as travel resumes.
"Today marks an important milestone in our company's history: not only is Mombasa the very first destination for our brand-new leisure airline, Eurowings Discover, but with this addition to our destination portfolio, we are further strengthening our footprint on the African continent for the Lufthansa Group. We believe that for many months now, people all over the world have been yearning to travel and experience different cultures and destinations once again. Thanks to favourable market reactions and booking trends, today we are proudly able to expand our East African network offering and once again express our continued commitment not only to the region, but to the African continent as a whole", says Andre Schulz, General Manager Sales, Lufthansa Group, Southern and East Africa.