Ethiopian Airlines and flydubai to expand flight services to Mombasa from mid-September
In an exciting development for the tourism industry in Kenya’s Coast region, the government has opened up Mombasa International Airport to foreign airlines. This move has sparked hopes of an increase in tourism numbers and economic growth.
Leading the way, Ethiopian Airlines has announced plans to expand its service between Addis Ababa and Mombasa from mid-September 2023. Just last week, the airline received approval from Kenya to add more frequencies to this popular tourist destination, alongside flydubai.
Ethiopian Airlines is scheduled to introduce a second daily flight using Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft for the Addis Ababa – Mombasa route starting from September 15, 2023. This additional capacity will offer passengers more travel options, with new afternoon and evening departures.
- ET322: ADD (09:00) – MBA (11:20) – Daily
- ET324: ADD (15:30) – MBA (17:50) – Daily
- ET323: MBA (12:15) – ADD (14:35) – Daily
- ET325: MBA (18:40) – ADD (21:00) – Daily
These expanded flight frequencies for Ethiopian Airlines and flydubai are part of Kenya’s implementation of the open skies policy. This policy aims to make it easier for foreign airlines to access and operate at national airports. While it has drawn both support and opposition, the main objective is to attract more business and tourists, while also addressing concerns about protecting local carriers like Kenya Airways.
The anticipated outcome of this decision is an influx of tourists, which will help fill the over 40,000 available beds in the region and create employment opportunities for the youth. Tourism plays a crucial role in the economic lifeline of the Coast region. Advocates of the open skies policy argue that by allowing international flights directly into Mombasa, tourism numbers will significantly increase.
While Ethiopian Airlines and Flydubai celebrate their approvals, Kenya Airways has expressed concerns about the lack of reciprocity in agreements with foreign carriers. With more international airlines entering the Mombasa market, competition is expected to intensify.
Coast County governors and hoteliers have been strong advocates for the full implementation of the open skies policy. They firmly believe that this policy will revitalize the tourism sector, generate job opportunities, and maximize the utilization of the region’s over 40,000 available beds.
The implementation of the open skies policy, along with the increased flight frequencies, is expected to attract more tourists, stimulate economic growth.