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History as Nyeri launches commercial flights

ICT Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru (left) and Nyeri Governor, Mutahi Kahiga (right) with other leaders at Nyaribo airstrip during the launch of the passenger flights

There was joy as the first passenger plane landed at Nyaribo airstrip, Saturday marking the launch of a new commercial flight route between Nyeri and Nairobi.
The development that will see full operationalization of the airstrip according to ICT, CS, Mr. Joe Mucheru will go a long way in boosting tourism and trade as it saves passengers travel time.
Following this development, Bush Air Safaris, is set to commence daily flights to and from Nairobi for an introductory one-way airfare of Sh3,000 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 25 minutes, CS Mucheru said this was the beginning as the government was seeking 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 and accord passengers an opportunity to enjoy scenic views of various tourist destinations in the area.
“I believe we can have daily flights if we want as 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.
He also challenged the county government to make plans of putting up social amenities within the airstrip in a bid to make visitors comfortable as they open new business opportunities.
Governor Mutahi Kahiga who was received the passengers of the first flight 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 has many tourist destinations,” Governor Kahiga said.
Kahiga announced that they would also be seeking to have the airstrip named after one of the heroes from the area.
He also sponsored 10 locals for a free ride all the way to Nakuru and back to have a feel of the flight as well as enjoy a picturesque view of Mt. Kenya and Aberdares forests and national parks offer.
The Deputy Governor said they will 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.
By Samuel Waititu

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