Moi International Airport

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Moi International Airport
Moi Airport Mombasa 2010.jpg
Airport typePublic, Civilian
OperatorKenya Airports Authority
LocationMombasa, Kenya
Elevation AMSL200 ft / 61 m
Coordinates04°02′24″S 39°35′24″E / 4.04000°S 39.59000°E / -4.04000; 39.59000
MBA is located in Kenya
Location of Moi International Airport in Kenya
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 10,990 3,350 Asphalt
15/33 4,473 1,363 Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passenger numbers1,313,168[1]

Moi International Airport (IATA: MBA, ICAO: HKMO) is an international airport in Mombasa, the second-largest city in Kenya. In 2020 the airport was heralded as the "Best Airport in Africa" (with under 2 million passengers annually) by Airports Council International.[2]


Moi International Airport serves the city of Mombasa and surrounding communities. It lies approximately 425 kilometres (264 mi), by air, southeast of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in the country.[3] Mombasa Airport is operated by Kenya Airports Authority. It was named after former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi during his tenure.

At 61 metres (200 ft) above sea level,[4] the airport has two runways: Runway 1 measures 3,350 metres (10,990 ft) in length and Runway 2 measures 1,260 metres (4,130 ft) in length.[5] Runway 1 is also known as Runway 03/21, while Runway 2 is also known as Runway 15/33. Runway 1 is equipped with an ILS (Instrument Landing System).

There are two terminals at the airport. Terminal 1 is primarily used for international flights, while Terminal 2 is used for domestic flights. Some airlines such as Kenya Airways use Terminal 1 for both domestic and international.

In September 2018, it was confirmed that Qatar Airways would be introducing four weekly flights to Mombasa operating with the A320. The first flight commenced on 11 December 2018, with a flight time from Doha of just over 6 hours.[6]


The airport was built during the Second World War by the Engineer Corps of the South African Army. During the war, it was used by the Fleet Air Arm as a land base of the British Eastern Fleet which was based at nearby Kilindini Harbour from 1942, by the Royal Air Force (AHQ East Africa and No. 246 Wing RAF) which operated anti-submarine Catalina flying boats off the East Africa coast and by the South African Air Force which was engaged in the war against Italy in Abyssinia. It was originally known as Port Reitz Airport.[citation needed]

Mombasa Airport was expanded to an international airport in 1979. Aircraft Maintenance facilities for private and light- to medium-size commercial aircraft are provided from government and private hangars by Benair Aircraft Engineering, licensed by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) as an approved maintenance organisation (AMO).[citation needed]

Benair Engineering constructed its first private aircraft maintenance hangar in 1997 as a temporary structure and it is still standing today. The hangar is located adjacent to the government hangar built to maintain Catalina aircraft during WW11 as part of the British East Africa war effort. Benair has been the principal aircraft maintenance facility since its inception at the Kenya coast and the name is based on the Chief engineer Geoffrey Benaglia. Principal customers include Dorenair, Dodsons International, Bluesky Aviation, Precision Air (Tanzania) and Mombasa Air Safari.

Starting on 18 August 1992, Moi International Airport was used as the headquarters for the US Central Command's regional command and control headquarters for Operation Provide Relief until 4 December of that same year when it was subordinated and merged with Operation Restore Hope. The initial deployment of personnel from US Central Command included tactical communications specialists from the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE).[citation needed]

From July to September 1994, Moi International Airport was used almost continuously as a refueling station during the Operation Support Hope humanitarian mission into Rwanda. Empty C-141 and C-5 freighter jets returning to Europe flew to Mombasa due to the scarcity of fuel in the African interior. The airlift through Mombasa ceased by October due to runway expansion work.[7]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Apron view
AnimawingsSeasonal charter: Bucharest[8]
Enter AirSeasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw–Chopin
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa
European Air CharterSeasonal charter: Sofia
Eurowings DiscoverFrankfurt1
Fly540Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta, Zanzibar
JambojetNairobi–Jomo Kenyatta
Kenya AirwaysNairobi–Jomo Kenyatta
LOT Polish AirlinesSeasonal charter: Warsaw–Chopin
Mombasa Air SafariAmboseli, Keekorok, Lamu, Malindi, Masai Mara, Ukunda/Diani Beach
Seasonal: Rome–Fiumicino, Verona
RwandAirDubai–International, Kigali, Mumbai
Smartwings PolandSeasonal charter: Prague, Warsaw–Chopin
TUI fly Netherlands Seasonal: Amsterdam
Turkish Airlines Istanbul2
Uganda Airlines Entebbe

1: Lufthansa' Frankfurt to Mombasa flights continue to Zanzibar whilst Mombasa to Frankfurt flights originate at Zanzibar. However, the airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Zanzibar and Mombasa in either direction.

2: Turkish Airlines' inbound flights from Istanbul to Mombasa make a stop in Kilimanjaro. However, the airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Kilimanjaro and Mombasa.


  1. ^ " » Kenyan airports passenger traffic declines by 5% 2013". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  2. ^ "2020 - Best Airport by Size and Region - ACI World". Archived from the original on 1 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Distance between Mombasa () (Airport) and Jomo Kenyatta Airport Nairobi (Nairobi Area) (Kenya)". Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Mombasa – Moi International Airport (MBA)". AirGorilla. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Mombasa - Moi Int´l Airport (MBA/HKMO)". Virtual Globetrotting. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Qatar Airways Launches Second Destination in Kenya with New Flights to Mombasa".
  7. ^ "Expeditionary Air Operations in Africa Challenges and Solutions" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Animawings: Flights from Bucharest to Mombasa, Kenya". 23 January 2021.

External links[edit]

Media related to Moi International Airport at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 4°02′24″S 39°35′24″E / 4.040000°S 39.59000°E / -4.040000; 39.59000