At least thirty six airlines are seeking for new licences or to expand services in a move that could support Kenya’s floundering tourism and ratchet up price competition.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority says 36 passenger and cargo airlines are seeking licences to operate local and international cargo and passenger flights or add new routes on their already existing operations, a move seen lifting Nairobi's transport hub status ambitions.
Zimbabwe-based Global Africa Aviation (Put) Limited has sought a licence to conduct cargo flights from Harare to Nairobi while West Wind Aviation Limited seeks approval to offer passengers and freight between Nairobi and East, West, Central and Southern Africa from its current base at Wilson Airport.
Italy’s Neos S.P.A and Meridiana Fly have sought approval to operate chartered flights on a bi-weekly basis from Malpensa, Italy, to Mombasa and a weekly flight from Katowice-Hurghada to Mombasa respectively.
Other new entrants include Poland’s Small Planet Airlines that plans weekly flights to Kenya while Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation has sought licence to conduct cargo services from Nairobi to Jeddah and back.
On the East African front Auric Air Services Limited, Tanzanian Air Services and Air Excel Limited, all from Tanzania have sought to offer regional passenger services, thanks to the recently signed air traffic protocol that gives regional operators from East African Community automatic rights to use sister facilities at no extra cost.
Five Forty Aviation and Baracuda Airways Holdings Limited are seeking a variation of licence to launch weekly flights to Homa Bay while East African Safari Air Express Limited wants to be allowed to fly to Kabarnet weekly.
Aeronav Limited-East Africa has also applied for a variation of its licence to include the Malindi/Masai Mara route which will enable it capture the growing market for foreign tourists keen of devouring Kenyan beaches and wildlife at a go.
DAC Aviation (E.A.) Limited wants to enjoy non-scheduled air services for passengers, cargo and mail within Kenya and to other points in Africa, Middle East and Asia.
SAC (K) Limited seems to be the only carrier seeking an international schedule for its cargo and passenger business between Nairobi and UK’s Gatwick and Belgium’s Brussels on a non-scheduled basis.
Ocean Airlines Limited seeks to entrench its leadership in the Nairobi-Northern Kenya route and is seeking permission to fly people and cargo to from Nairobi to Kisumu, Garissa and Wajir.
Jetways Airlines Limited also wants to fly to South Sudan’s Juba capital via Entebbe, Mogadishu which will be integrated with its domestic route plying Eldoret, Lodwar, Kakuma, Mombasa, Malindi, La mu, Waji, and Mandera.
Treedo n Airlines Express Limited had also applied for inclusion of new routes to include Eastern and Central Africa while its domestic routes will be ferrying of passengers from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Ukunda, Wajir, and Eldoret.
Others are Kenya Homes Company Limited, Timbis Air Services, Aberdair Aviation Limited, Skymax Aviation Limited, Northwood Agencies Limited, Nairobi Mission Aviation Fellowship (K), GeoAir Limited, Transafrican Air Limited, Skyward Express Limited and Aeronav Limited.