You are currently viewing The Top 9 Domestic Airlines in Kenya

The Top 9 Domestic Airlines in Kenya

In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey through some of Kenya’s domestic airlines, each offering its unique charm and top-notch services. Buckle up, and let’s explore the aviation options for Kenya and Eastern Africa at large.

Domestic flights can be pricey for the distance. Sometimes, using the SGR or a bus might save you money. But if flying is a must, here are the top 9 airlines for Kenya and nearby East African countries.

Your choice of flying domestically is probably because you value time more than money. Going to the Kenyan coastal towns for instance will take 6 hours with a train (SGR) and just under an hour if you fly.

Notably, domestically is way more expensive than flying across Europe for the same distance, it all boils down to the volume of travel, the more travelers the cheaper the flights, only a few portions of Kenyans fly domestically which is why it is expensive. It is 10x more expensive to fly compared to the cheapest airline in Europe, Ryanair.

If you are traveling on a very light aircraft, say to Masai Mara and other national parks, luggage restrictions are tight so keep that in mind. Also, don’t carry liquids or gels over 100ml in your cabin baggage; they’ll be confiscated.

If it is your first time flying;

Carry your ID, and prepare for security checks and baggage scans, and then you will be directed to the flight. Just make sure you are there early, say an hour early before the scheduled departure time.

And if your concern is which is the safest airline in Kenya, the answer is; that all airlines are safe, from a statistical view. Kenya has a good record of flight safety, so go with whatever airline is cheapest for you, or the most comfortable. Now those are the criteria you should consider when choosing the domestic airline to fly.

Hopefully, this is helpful and insightful information, Let’s get into the domestic airline options you have.

Kenya Airways (KQ)

Kenya Airways, also known as KQ, is Kenya’s national flag carrier. With a global network spanning over 50 destinations, Kenya Airways is a reliable choice for both domestic and international travel. Their commitment to excellence has earned them recognition as one of Africa’s leading airlines.

Locally, it is the biggest carrier with 12 business class seats and 84 economy seats in its aircraft of choice, the Embraer 190. They operate 60 weekly flights to Mombasa and 17 Weekly flights to Kisumu.

Flights to Mombasa take exactly an hour, and rates change by day. It is however expensive to travel on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tuesdays to Thursdays offer the cheapest rates.

Economy tickets to Mombasa and Kisumu range the same and are between 10,000 to 20,000 while Business range from 20,000 to 30,000 depending on season and day.

Kenya Airways is the most expensive domestic airline to fly and not the best option if you are a budget traveler. You can book their tickets on their website below, or the KQ mobile App on Android and iPhone devices.

Jambojet (JM)

Jambojet is slightly cheaper than Kenya Airways, and it is a subsidiary of KQ.

With tickets being less than KSh 15,000 to Mombasa for the most part and on return to Nairobi, even way cheaper at less than 10,000. I don’t think Jambo Jet has business class or any flight classes, just the same for all. If you want business class domestic flights then Kenya Airways it is.

Jambojet tickets are either Standard Fare or Smart Fare. The Standard ticket only allows up to 10Kg hand luggage while the Smart ticket allows 23 checked luggage on top of the 10 hand luggage.

You also get to select a seat of your choosing and can change your travel date and time, at no additional cost

The difference is normally around KSh 2,000 between the tickets which is very much worth it.

For travelers seeking a unique experience, Safarilink specializes in connecting passengers to some of Kenya’s most iconic safari destinations. It travels to over 31 destinations with some being in Tanzania & Zanzibar.

Whether it’s the Maasai Mara, Amboseli National Park, or Samburu, Safarilink makes it possible to experience unforgettable wildlife adventures.

Its operating Hub in Nairobi is at Wilson Airport. Their ticket prices are listed in USD, and they are cheaper than Kenya Airways or Jambojet. A ticket to Mombasa from Nairobi averages around KSh 8,000 to KSh 9,000.


Skywards operates from Wilson Airport in Nairobi as the primary hub to over 10 destinations in Kenya; especially to most towns with airstrips. They offer daily flights to busier locations like; Kitale, Lodwar, Migori, Kakamega, Eldoret, Lamu, Malindi, and Mombasa.

Their average ticket prices are higher than Safarilink but lower than Kenya Airways and Jambojet. One of the best options for budget domestic flights.

Air Kenya

Based in Wilson Airport and offers a travel network, especially to Safari and Wildlife destinations across East Africa. From Maasai Mara in Kenya to Serengeti in Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Entebbe in Uganda, almost all major tourist destinations are covered by them.

They fly to over 26 destinations across East Africa, not exclusively wildlife centers, but also some major towns like Kisumu, Nanyuki, Meru, and Samburu.

Fly 540

This is one of the local LCCs (Low-Cost Carriers) and operates flights to most of the towns with an airstrip in Kenya, and to South Sudan and Zanzibar as well.

They are also generous with luggage; 5 kg hand luggage and free 15 kg baggage which is a bargain for a domestic flight, not to mention the cheaper tickets that come along with Fly 540.

Their website doesn’t seem to be online, so maybe check their Twitter:

Renegade Air

Renegade Air is a Kenyan airline operating from Wilson Airport just like most local airlines. It is however limited to destinations just three; Kisumu and Homabay in the Western parts of Kenya, and Wajir in the eastern.

Mombasa Air Safari

Operating from Wilson in Nairobi, Mombasa Air Safari flies to 12 destinations with an emphasis on coastal destinations like Malindi, Mombasa, and Ukunda. It also does multiple flights to wildlife spots like Masai Mara and Amboseli. Looks like the focus is generally on tourists, based on the destinations of choice.

Yellow Wings

Their wingtips are actually yellow which lives up to their name! Yellow Wings Hub is at Wilson Airport, and they mainly offer charter services for aerial filming and photography, or to destinations like wildlife centers, but mostly corporate flights. Doesn’t seem like they offer passenger flights at the moment.

Post Summary

The best domestic airline for you depends on your needs such as destinations; since not all airlines will travel to your preferred destinations. The other thing is cost, if you want a luxurious flight you will pay more, if you are all about saving money, you can fly with the cheapest airline options at the cost of your comfort.

Check out the guide to Nairobi Airport JKIA

NBO or NRB, Which is the Correct One for Nairobi?

Navigating Nairobi: Exploring Transportation Options

Leave a Reply