Flight booking to Western Kenya reportedly increased after President William Ruto commissioned the revamped Kakamega Airport.
As a result, local air transport companies reduced the price to about Ksh6,000 for a one-way ticket from Nairobi to Kakamega to entice more travellers to inaugural flights.
On their websites, the companies pegged the prices between Ksh5,999 to Ksh7,999, which is affordable compared to previous rates that took Western Kenya residents to Kisumu International Airport.
"Local flight bookings are done via telephone calls, text gateway, office visits and on the website of various flight companies. All are allowed, you only have to choose the one that is convenient for you," a booking attendant told Kenyans.co.ke.
Flights from Nairobi to Kakamega were designated for departure at Wilson Airport off Langata Road, which also serves other domestic destinations.
Passengers travelling to Kakamega were advised to arrive at Wilson Airport at least one hour before departure, but ordinarily, travellers are expected at the airport two hours before.
Kakamega Airport flights do not land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, unlike the aeroplanes from Kisumu International Airport designated for landing at JKIA.
Previously, Kakamega passengers were forced to fly to Kisumu International Airport before connecting to Western Kenya. The passengers now land at Kakamega Airport directly from Wilson Airport to Kakamega without unnecessary stoppages.
The flight from Nairobi to Kakamega covers a distance of around 288 kilometres, of around 40 minutes. The newly renovated Kakamega Airport will directly generate employment opportunities within the airlines, air navigation services providers and airport operators.
It will also create jobs via the supply chain in the transportation of goods and services.
"As the global economy is becoming increasingly connected, air transport is one of the fastest transportation sectors," local flight experts described.
While launching the newly renovated airport, Ruto noted that the airstrip would aid the country in achieving economic growth and development.
"This airport will serve the entire Western Kenya region. It has been opened for the farmers and any other ordinary person in the country," he noted.
The president honoured the residents of Western Kenya with the airport that will facilitate air transport integration into the global economy and provide vital connectivity on a national, regional, and international scale.
Kakamega airport was rehabilitated to help generate trade, and cargo business, promote tourism and create employment opportunities in the larger Western region.
"Air transportation also plays an important role in tourism, contributing to economic growth, especially in developing countries. It has necessitated the growth of e-Commerce and technological advancement in the aviation industry," a local air transport company acknowledged.
The growth of e-Commerce in the air transportation industry is anticipated to augment the growth of the air transportation market globally.