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Direct Somali-Nairobi flights hurt Wajir Airport

Wajir Airport is staring at over Sh2 million monthly revenue loss after the resumption of direct flights from Mogadishu to Nairobi.

In an interview with the Nation, Wajir Airport manager Charles Kiong’a said the directive would have a huge economical impact on the facility, which was dependant on planes from Mogadishu for its revenue.

He said the airport collected Sh531,300 weekly from the planes which amounted to Sh2,125,200 monthly in terms of income.

Juba Airways, African Express, East Africa Safari Express, Freedom Airline, Oceanic and Fan Jet Express craft used to land at the airport before proceeding to Nairobi.

The direct flight nod followed a visit by the newly-elected Somali President Mohammed Farmajo to Kenya where the agreement was reached by the two countries in an effort to strengthen diplomatic and trade ties between the pair.

Planes from Mogadishu had to pass through Wajir for security checks and screening before proceeding to Nairobi after a directive by then president Kibaki after growing threat of terror attacks by the al-Qaeda linked terror group the al-shabaab.

The manager said unless some more domestic flights are introduced into and out of the airport, the move is also likely to result to increase in transport costs from the facility because of the reduced number of aircraft.

Passengers are currently being charged between Sh5,000 and Sh6,000 from Wajir to Nairobi and between Sh10,000 and Sh15,000 from Nairobi to Wajir.

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