Dubai-based low-cost airline, Fly Dubai is set to break new ground as it becomes the first Emirati airline to operate direct flights from Dubai and the United Arab Emirates to Mombasa, Kenya. Starting from January 17, 2024, the carrier will offer four weekly flights operated by the Boeing 737 MAX 8 to Mombasa’s Moi International Airport (MBA) marking a significant milestone in air travel connectivity between the UAE and Kenya.
Flydubai’s flight schedule to Mombasa, Kenya, offers travelers flexibility with two weekly flights departing from Dubai International Airport (DXB) on Sundays and Tuesdays at 4:00 PM, arriving at Moi International Airport (MBA) at 8:25 PM. Return flights from Mombasa to Dubai operate on the same days, departing at 9:25 PM from MBA and landing at DXB at 3:55 AM the following day. Additionally, there are flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays departing from DXB at 9:20 AM, arriving at MBA at 1:55 PM, with return flights from MBA to DXB at 2:55 PM and landing at 9:25 PM.
Expanding Footprint in Africa
With the introduction of flights to Mombasa, Flydubai is amplifying its presence in Africa, adding another jewel to its network of 11 destinations in 10 countries on the continent. This network includes key cities such as Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Asmara, Dar es Salaam, Djibouti, Entebbe, Hargeisa, Juba, Mogadishu, and Zanzibar, enhancing travel options for passengers from the UAE, Middle East, and Europe, seeking access to pristine beaches, wildlife parks, and rich cultural experiences.
Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President of Business Operations at Flydubai, expressed the airline’s dedication to the African market, stating, “Africa is very important to Flydubai, and we are always looking for opportunities to better serve the market with reliable options to travel conveniently to Dubai and further afield on the combined Flydubai and Emirates network. Mombasa will be another top destination on our network for passengers from the UAE, Middle East, and Europe.”
Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of Flydubai, emphasized the airline’s commitment to opening up underserved markets and supporting Dubai’s aviation hub, especially in light of the increasing investment from Africa since Expo 2020. He noted, “Our direct flights to Mombasa from January and our growing operations in Africa will further support free flows of trade and tourism between the UAE and the East African markets.”
Mombasa, Kenya’s second-largest city, is renowned for its ancient architecture and stunning sandy beaches. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, Mombasa serves as a pivotal hub for import and export trade, acting as a gateway to East Africa for Kenya and its neighboring countries.
The most apparent outcome of this development is the amplification of competition in Kenya’s aviation market. Ethiopian Airlines and Flydubai, both renowned carriers with extensive networks, have access to Mombasa, Kenya’s enchanting coastal city. While increased competition often leads to more choices and competitive pricing for travelers, it also challenges the status quo.
Kenya Airways, a long-standing dominant player, now faces stiffer competition. The airline has previously raised concerns about potential one-sided deals with foreign carriers and the lack of reciprocity. Like Flydubai, the Skyteam member operates Mombasa – Dubai routing, with Boeing 737-800 aircraft scheduled at 4 times weekly.