Excitement as airline launches flight to Lodwar, Lokichar

BY STEVEN ARIONG
LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL

Turkana flights
Travellers who have been struggling by road between Nairobi and Lodwar or Lokichar can now fly, following the launch of daily flights on this route by Safarilink. Speaking at the official launch of the flights in Lodwar on October 8, Safarilink Aviation manager, Mr John Buckley, said: “Today’s commencement of operations to Lodwar and Lokichar is a significant milestone in our operations. These flights will contribute significantly towards spurring economic development in northern Kenya by opening up the region, not only for tourism but also investment in and the development of other sectors.” Mr Buckley said that each day from Monday to Friday, Safarilink will be departing Nairobi from Wilson Airport at 7am to arrive at Lokichar at about 8.15am, before proceeding to Lodwar, where it will be landing at 8.45am. The flight will then leave Lodwar at 9am to arrive back in Nairobi at 10.20am. The chief officer of tourism, trade and industrialisation in Turkana County, Mr Mathew Logurale, said in a telephone interview that while the introduction of the flights stood to reduce the suffering that people went through when travelling by road to and from Nairobi, the ticket prices should be pocket friendly to the average person. “We are happy about the development, but my worry is that the price might be such that our local people who would also wish to use these flights might not afford,” he said. Safarilink was established in 2004. It mostly offers safari destinations, serving a route network that covers game parks and the coast region. It helps those who wish to minimise transit times.

Why Lokichar and Lodwar

Its interest in serving Lokichar arises from the fact that the town is central to the locations of recent oil finds and further exploration activities. Lodwar, on the other hand, is the seat of Turkana County government. Turkana is blessed with key tourist attractions, being the cradle of mankind, and the home of the famed Lake Turkana and Sibiloi national parks. The colourful launch of the Safarilink Lodwar and Lokichar flight was attended by Mr Linus Ebenyo, the Turkana County Minister for Tourism, Mr John Lodepe, the area Member of Parliament, and Mr Pius Ewoton of Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Turkana County, and among other dignitaries.






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