Route Analysis: Mombasa-Dubai

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Kenya Airways is starting nonstop flights from the coastal city of Mombasa (MBA) to Dubai (DXB) in the United Arab Emirates to cater for leisure demand from the Middle East and Europe.

Service between the destinations will commence on Dec. 15, operating four times per week using Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The airline will become the sole airline on the 3,669-km (1,981-nm) sector once flights begin.

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Kenya Airways plans to offer a Nairobi (NBO)-Mombasa-Dubai routing, as well as maintaining its existing 10X-weekly nonstop Nairobi-Dubai route, which operates using a mix of 737-800s and 737-8s.

Flights will depart Mombasa on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:10 p.m., arriving in Dubai at 5:45 a.m. the following day. The return leg leaves Dubai at 6:55 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, arriving back in Mombasa at 11:20 a.m.

The two cities were last connected nonstop in March 2019 when Rwandair ended its 3X-weekly Kigali (KGL)-Mombasa-Dubai service in favour of increasing Kigali-Dubai from 4X-weekly to daily.

Rwandair’s exit from the market came shortly after Qatar Airways opened a 4X-weekly Doha (DOH)-Mombasa route, which operated using Airbus A320s from December 2018 until the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. Since then, there have been no nonstop routes between Mombasa and the Middle East.

Kenya Airways will be targeting inbound leisure passengers to Mombasa, located in southeastern Kenya along the Indian Ocean. Cargo will also be a factor, offering increased belly capacity for the export of sea food and fresh produce to the Middle East.

Looking at the traffic flow on Qatar Airways’ service from Doha to Mombasa in 2019, there were 22,381 one-way passengers traveling on the route. Of those, 94% of passengers traveled from destinations behind Doha, with just 5.5% of traffic being local.



Kenya Airways


Boeing 737-800



Start date:

Dec. 15, 2022


3,669-km (1,981-nm)

O&D traffic demand (2019):


Annual growth:


Average base fare (2019):


David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.