Air Italy, formerly known as Meridiana, will start operating two weekly non-stop flights between Milan, Italy and Mombasa, Kenya as of July 21.

This was confirmed by Air Italy’s Corporate Communications Manager, Simona Danieli, who said that both Zanzibar and Mombasa have both reconfirmed.

Flights between Milan Malpensa and Mombasa will be serviced every Monday and Saturday, using a B767 aircraft, with a configuration of 248 seats in Economy and 18 in Business Class.

Danieli said the airline was known as Meridiana up until February last year, adding: “Air Italy has been operating flights from Italy to Africa for many years.”

According to Danieli, the airline’s current network includes direct international flights from Milan Malpensa to Accra in Ghana, Cairo in Egypt, Dakar in Senegal, and Lagos in Nigeria, all of which increase frequency during Italy’s summer and autumn months.

Devan Jobanputra, Director of Travel In Style, a travel agency based in Kenya spoke to Tourism Update about the Italian market’s peaked interest in the country.

“We do attract a lot of travellers from Italy, both to the Kenyan Coast and for safaris,” said Jobanputra, who mentioned that for a long time the coastal resort town of Malindi, attracted Italian tourists, and is  known as Kenya’s ‘Little Italy’.

However, numbers have dropped, Jobanputra elaborated: “The numbers have reduced significantly over the past decade, especially to the coast, but with new products and refurbishments, we are seeing an increase in arrivals.”