Kenyan Somalis are known for their business acumen and sincerity in commercial dealings. With their population at approximately 2,780,502, the otherwise marginalized ethnic Somalis are now producing highly competent professionals in medicine, law and other fields.
In this article WoK takes a look at some of the local airlines owned by Kenyan Somalis.
Skyward Express Airline
The airline was established in 2013 by Captain Mohamed Abdi and Captain Isack Somow who serve as Chairman and Managing Director respectively. The company started off with a single aircraft – a Fokker 50 which majorly handled ad hoc charters into the East African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan. The airline has grown over the years to become one of the leading premier charter companies in the East African aviation industry. It currently operates daily scheduled passenger services to Mombasa, Diani, Malindi, Lodwar and Eldoret from Wilson Airport.
748 Air Services
The company is owned by Ahmed Rashid Jibril, the brother of former Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed. In its infancy, the airline supplied aid to Sudan during the civil war. After the war ended, Jibril transformed the company to include passenger and cargo transportation. The airline majorly caters for VIP Passenger services, humanitarian sector and the transportation of cargo to remote areas.
Bluebird Aviation was founded in 1992 by Captain Hussein Farrah, a former Kenya Air Force (KAF) presidential pilot. The airline is licensed by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and mainly deals with humanitarian organizations, government institutions and private clients. It owns several exotic aircrafts such as a Beechcraft 1900D, Let L-410 Turbolet and a Beechcraft Kingair B200 among others. It is under the leadership of Hussein Farrah who serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Captain Hussein Mohammed who is the General Manager.
I-Fly Air Limited
The airline was founded by Captain Abdullahi Hassan who was a former Air Traffic Controller at the KAF. He was to later join Skyward Express Airline where he was mentored by Captain Mohamed Abdi. He resigned to start his airline which now operates flights to Diani, Malindi, Lamu, Kisumu, Wajir, Mombasa, Mandera and Somalia from Wilson Airport.
Silverstone Airline was founded in 2017 by Captain Mahat Somow, Muzamil Somow and Captain Mohamed Somow who serve as directors. The company has taken the Kenyan airspace by storm owning 6 Fokker 50 aircraft, 4 Daash 8-100s, 3 Dash 8-300s and 1 CRJ-200. The company offers different services including commercial scheduled and non-scheduled passenger flight services, commercial cargo services, private charter services, evacuation, humanitarian and relief services. It provides daily flights to Mombasa, Ukunda, Malindi, Lamu, Kisumu and Lodwar from Wilson Airport.