It was joy as first ever passenger plane landed at Nyaribo airstrip, Nyeri, today, marking the beginning of a new commercial flight route between Nyeri and Nairobi as well as other destinations within the country.
The development that will see full operationalization of the airstrip according would according to ICT, CS, Joe Mucheru go a long way in boosting tourism and trader as well as save passengers travel time.
Following this development, Bush Air Safaris, is set to commence daily flights to and from Nairobi at an introductory one-way airfare of Sh. 3,000 that will include refreshments.
The airstrip is rarely busy and has mainly been used by students taking aviation lessons and visitors on occasion.
Speaking after the maiden trip from Nairobi that took approximately 20 minutes, CS Mucheru said this was the beginning as the government seeks to expand such services across the country to the convenience of all citizens.
He however said sustained flow of flights would depend on its uptake, as he encouraged residents to take advantage of the new mode of transport that will save on time as well as accord passengers an opportunity to enjoy scenic views various tourist destinations in the area.
“ I believe we can have daily flights if we want, it depends on whether people want to go on the three hour traffic jam to Nairobi or just do 25 minutes flight,” said the CS.
Governor Mutahi Kahiga who was at hand to receive the visitors on the inaugural trip including his Deputy, Caroline Karugu and Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, said direct flights to and from Nairobi would be a major boost particularly for the tourism sector.
He said tourists visiting destinations such as Mt. Kenya and Aberdares National Parks would find it convenient to fly to and from Nairobi. The airstrip is also less than an hour’s drive from major tourist hotels such as the Outspan, The Ark and Aberdare Country Club.
“We believe the airstrip will go a long way in improving trade and tourism especially given that Nyeri had many tourist destinations,” Governor Kahiga said.
Kahiga announced that they would be seeking to have the airstrip named after one of the heroes.
He at the same time sponsored 10 locals to enjoy a free ride all the way to Nakuru and back to have a feel of the flight as well as enjoy picturesque view Mt. Kenya and Aberdares forests.
Deputy Governor, Caroline Karugu, said they would also be looking for ways of maximizing use of the airstrip to bolster economic growth.
Flight operator, John Nderitu, said they have enough fleet of aircrafts to ferry passengers should the number of clients increase.