Covid19 has been a nightmare to people and businesses all over the world. If you are an avid traveler, you will feel shackled to your hometown as countries have closed down their borders effectively banning tourism.
It is even more painful for companies whose bottom-line depends on travel and tourism. In Kenya, SafariLink is one of those businesses. The company has been forced to ground its fleet due to a sharp decline in tourists visiting Kenya since the novel coronavirus pandemic was first reported in Kenya back in March 2020.
SafariLink is one of the Kenyan companies that provides passenger (mainly tourists) travel services to national parks and game reserves in Kenya and Tanzania.
Safarilink Aviation Limited (doing business as SafariLink) was established on January 2004 in Kenya. The company’s hub is at the Wilson Airport in Embakasi, Nairobi County. From here, it operates to 18 mainly tourist destinations in both Kenya and Tanzania. The company mainly relies on tourism from abroad who come to East Africa for a vacation or leisure.
In summer months such as June, July and August, SafariLink handles more than 10,000 passengers per month, with the main destinations being popular Maasai Mara in Kenya and Serengeti in Tanzania.
As of July 12, 2020, SafariLink has two types of aircraft in its fleet of 11: Bombardier Dash 8 (2 aircraft) and Cessna 208B Caravan (9 aircraft). The Bombadier Dash 8 series can carry between 37-57 passengers while the Cessna 208B Caravan can carry a maximum of 13 passengers. The company employs 33 pilots.
Using its fleet of 11 planes, SafariLink serves the following tourist destinations:
Zanzibar International Airport
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Vipingo Ridge Airstrip
Mara Serena Airport
Tsavo West National Park
Mtito Andei Airport
SafariLink’s destination locations in both Kenya and Tanzania as of July 11, 2020. The above list might change if the company expands or downsizes depending on economic performance of the tourism industry.
Kenya Airways Partnership
In November 2019, Safarilink signed an agreement with Kenya Airways to offer passenger flight services to various destinations in Kenya and Tanzania. These includes: Masai Mara, Amboseli, Diani, Kapese, Kitale, Lewa Downs, Vipingo, Tsavo West, Kilimanjaro, Samburu, Loisaba, Migori, Lamu, Zanzibar, Ukunda, Nanyuki and Lodwar.