Embattled local carrier Silverstone Air has suspended operations on three of its routes including Homa Bay, which was launched just two months ago, in a move that slows down its aggressive expansion plans.
The firm confirmed to the Business Daily that the airline, which has been operating in Kenya since 2017, has not been flying to Homa Bay and has also suspended flights to Wajir and Lodwar because they were not performing well.
“The temporary suspension of scheduled flights on these routes is purely a business decision.
“However, the chartered services on these routes are still active. Maasai Mara is a seasonal route, thus scheduled flights occur during peak seasons,” Silverstone said in response to queries.
A source said the Homa Bay route had not been operational since November 2.
“Nearly all the routes that were opened by the airline in the last few months have been suspended,” said the source who requested for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The airline launched Lodwar flights in January 2018 and the Nairobi-Maasai Mara in July with daily return flights.
The low-cost airline started plying the Wajir route in June and Homa Bay in September as it targeted traders and tourists.
At the time, Silverstone said the Homa Bay route was launched as a result of increased demand from travellers to western Kenya and was expected to boost trade.
The Nairobi-Maasai Mara route was started in July with daily return flights, in a move expected to increase options for customers on the route that is already served by the East African Safari Air Express (formerly FlySax) and Safarilink, among other carriers.
Silverstone Air’s aircraft have been operating from Wilson Airport in Nairobi.
Silverstone is reducing its frequencies at a time the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has opened an audit to determine the safety and compliance of the airline following a mid-air scare last Monday when one of its planes dropped a tyre while taking off in Lodwar.
Early this month, another one of Silverstone’s aircraft veered off the runway at Wilson Airport.