Dubai-based low-cost carrier flydubai will launch direct flights to Mombasa on January 17, 2024, eight years after former Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia granted it the rights in 2016.
The airline will become the first national carrier with direct flights from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the Kenyan coastal city.
The carrier said on Thursday that flights to Moi International Airport would operate four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from Terminal Three at the Dubai International Airport (DXB).
According to flydubai, return business class fares from Dubai to Mombasa will start from AED4,200 (Sh165,950).
The economy class lite fares start from AED1,600 (Sh63,219). The return business class fares will start from $1,500 (Sh217,695), while those of the economy class lite will start from $500 (Sh72,565).
The airline says it will partner with Emirates to codeshare the route to offer passengers more options for connections through Dubai’s international aviation hub.
With the launch of operations to Mombasa, flydubai grows its network in Africa to 11 destinations in 10 countries, including Addis Ababa, Alexandria, Asmara, Dar es Salaam, Djibouti, Entebbe, Hargeisa, Juba, Mogadishu and Zanzibar.
“Dubai has seen steady growth in investment from Africa since Expo 2020 with more than 26,000 African companies registered with Dubai Chamber. 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,” said flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith.
“We see a lot of potential in the African markets and we look forward to growing our presence in the continent as we continue to grow our network and fleet in the coming years.”
In July, Kenya granted Ethiopian Airlines rights to fly twice directly into Mombasa every week in keeping with the open skies policy, setting the stage for intensified competition with the national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ).
The open skies policy requires easing access and rules of use of national airports for foreign airlines.
KQ had earlier argued that Kenya risks entering into one-sided deals with foreign carriers in the policy since there is no reciprocity guaranteed.