Qatar Airlines last week announced plans of making direct flights to Mombasa from its Doha hub signalling the importance of the City to the regional tourism industry. The airline will make four trips to Mombasa every week carrying 120 regular passengers as well as business travelers.
Currently, Qatar Airways runs daily flights to Nairobi but has moved to capitalize on the rising number of tourists flocking the Kenyan coast which has also caught the eye of other international airlines.
Turkish Airlines, RwandaAir and Ethiopian Airlines are some of the major airlines which have direct flights to Mombasa while the airport receives numerous lighter airlines as well as private chartered airlines transporting thousands of tourists.
It is also a major destination of European airlines including Air Italy, Neos, Blue Panorama, and Condor serving cities like Milan, Frankfurt and Athens.
Mombasa has had a mixed seasons with tourists mainly affected by prevailing political environments. However, a peaceful electioneering period of 2017 and a sustained campaign by the Ministry of Tourism has placed Mombasa high on the international map for tourists.
Mombasa is the second city in Kenya whose economy is mainly driven by tourism, port logistics and conferencing. The government has been keen to expand the economy of the coastal region by expanding key infrastructure to cater for a rising international traffic.
Through several projects, the government has expanded the roads, built new ones and created city by-passes to unclog a persistent traffic jams that were signature of the city. Equally, with the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway linking the city with Nairobi with a capacity of 1200 passengers, the number of local tourists has been boosted.
Kenya Airways has several flights daily which provides international travelers to connect from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport hub. However, with Ethiopia, Turkish and Qatar having direct flights, Kenya Airways is seen to be on a disadvantage.