MOMBASA, Kenya, Dec 9 – The Qatar Airways on Sunday launched its inaugural direct flight from Doha in Qatar to Mombasa, Kenya.
The Airbus A320 aircraft, which features 12 Business Class seats and 120 seats in Economy Class and crew members adding up to 150 visitors on board, touched Mombasa at 8:40am.
It will be making four scheduled weekly flights to Mombasa, bringing about 600 visitors to the region on a weekly basis.
Speaking during the arrival of the plane, Kenya Tourism Board Chief executive officer Dr Betty Radier said the direct flight was not only an endorsement of the destination, but a vote of confidence on the Kenyan coast that had suffered in number of international arrivals.
“This is good news for the sector and together with the private sector, KTB will look into ways of partnering with Qatar Airways as well as other aircrafts to increase passenger numbers into the route,” she said.
She said there were more prospect from the market with the direct flight to Mombasa that will ease access to the beach product and other experiences.
“Qatar Airways inaugural has given us more impetus to look into more ways of enticing both charters and scheduled flights into the country. We hope to achieve this once we complete on our review of charter incentives program to incorporate low cost carriers and scheduled flights,” she added.
Mohammed Hersi, the chairperson of the Kenya Tourists Federation, said they are delighted as Mombasa residents to receive the Qatar Airways.
“It has been long, we started the process four year ago. We are happy that Qatar airways will be opening and connecting Mombasa to over 120 cities of the world,” he said.
Jimmy Kibati, the General Manager Marketing at Kenya Airports Authority, said the Mombasa Airport used to receive three scheduled flights; Rwanda Air, Turkish Airline and Ethiopia Airline.
“The number of scheduled flights coming to Mombasa are still very few. We are happy that we have recived a forth direct scheduled flight to Mombasa, the Qatar Airways,” he said.