Qatar Airlines is hoping to reintroduce flights between Hamad International Airport and Moi International Airport in Mombasa, according to Qatar Airways Vice President for Africa Hendrik Du Preez speaking to The Standard. The Qatari airline which currently operates two daily flights in and out of Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) also has plans to increase these frequencies to three as the company sees demand.
Launched in December 2018 and later paused in 2020 following the outbreak of Covid-19, Mombasa flights had been operated 4X-weekly by an Airbus A320 configured in 12 business-class and 120 economy-class seats, with a flight time of just over six hours. Bordering the Indian Ocean, tropical Mombasa is Kenya’s main coastal tourist destination and a popular gateway to the country’s white beaches and coral reef diving. The cosmopolitan city has also become a destination in its own right, thanks to its diverse cultural mix and old town charm. According to Perez, Africa’s recovery currently stands at 70% of the 2019 levels.
Kenya’s Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia had earlier this year noted that, “A lot of airlines have applied to make more trips to Mombasa. I got their applications from them asking to fly more times to Mombasa.” “We are going to look at the licences for approval,” he said. The Transport Cabinet Secretary said he had received applications from Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airline and Qatar Airways.