Kenya Airways is set to increase its capacity to Mombasa on four days of the holiday season, seeking to cash in on the higher number of passengers who visit the coastal city during Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The national carrier says it will deploy the 234-seater Dreamliner 787-8 to Mombasa on December 23 and 24 (to cater for passengers travelling for their holidays) as well as on January 2 and 3 (for those flying back home.)
Kenya Airways normally flies eight times a day to Mombasa from its JKIA hub using the Embraer 190 aircraft which can carry 96 passengers. Jambojet, its low-cost subsidiary, operates another two flights a day to the coastal city.
“We have seen increased demand on the Mombasa route ahead of the festive season necessitating the need to increase capacity,” Chris Diaz, Kenya Airways’ marketing director, said in a statement.
KQ, as the carrier is known by its international code, owns six Dreamliners.
The aircraft, which were acquired under the Project Mawingu expansion programme, were regarded as a game-changer in the airline industry due to their lightweight body and sophisticated engines which cut fuel consumption by 20 per cent.
The national carrier normally operates the fuel-efficient aircraft on long-haul routes such as Europe and Asia. It also uses Dreamliners on the Johannesburg route and occasionally to Kinshasa.
Every year, domestic and international tourists flock Mombasa to celebrate Christmas and New Year. Public beaches, hotels and shopping malls are normally jam-packed over this season, explaining the increased bookings by airlines such as KQ.
“Kenya Airways plays a major role in boosting the economy of Mombasa during the festive season when demand mainly driven by the domestic market increases,” said Mr Diaz.
Airlines routinely realign their flight schedules to gain the most from peak seasons.
KQ recently announced that from July 13 next year, it will increase flights to and from Paris and Amsterdam by three weekly flights on each route, seeking to cash in on the summer season that stretches for two months to September.
The airline currently operates seven flights a week on the two routes but anticipates higher demand between July and August as people fly to and from Europe and North America.