Africa’s Most Expensive Airline? Kenya Airways Attracts Attention

African aviation is going through a period of notable transition. With this shift, analysts have been looking at the market’s pricing. As a result, a report has shown that in Africa, Kenya Airways charges the most for its tickets.

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The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) is one of the authorities that took part in the study. Photo: Getty Images.

The top of the crop

The African Competition Forum (ACF) has shared a report that studied the aviation industries of 24 countries in Africa. The study looked at which airlines charged the highest average fares on domestic and international operations.

The conclusion was that Kenya Airways charged the highest on most routes where it has competition. In the vast majority of cases, it charged higher than the likes of South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways, and Air France.

Kenya Airways held the highest average passenger price per kilometer (APPK) for all its national, regional, and international routes. Moreover, Tanzanian routes had higher APPK than services routes, which traveled farther.

Kenya Airways at Nairobi
The study looked at data between the months of November 2019 and March 2020. Photo: Getty Images.

Looking at the figures

Taking a route as an example, the average price per kilometer on the Nairobi-Johannesburg route was Sh23.8. Meanwhile, South African Airways (SAA) charged Sh22. (1 Kenyan Shilling is 0.0090 US Dollar)

“Prices charged by two operators on this route are visibly different for both economy and business class categories. Kenya Airways prices are 21 percent higher than SAA prices for economy class tickets,” ACF’s report highlights, as shared by Business Daily.

“The Nairobi-Paris route is served by Air France and Kenya Airways, their prices have a difference of Sh5,000, Kenya Airways price being more. KQ charged Sh15.6 per kilometer on the Nairobi-Addis Ababa route, higher than Ethiopian Airlines’ Sh13.2.”

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South African Airways charged higher than Kenya Airways when it came to business class, with the flag carrier of South Arica charging at around 39% higher than its competitor. Photo: Getty Images

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All eyes on Africa

Kenya Airways has been showing its intention of expanding its presence in fellow African nations in recent months. For instance, Congo Airways has begun wet leasing two Embraer E190 aircraft. Kenya Airways has also been in talks with South African Airways about forming a pan-African carrier.

The likes of British Airways have been ramping up collaborations with the carrier. The flag carrier of the United Kingdom signed a codeshare agreement with the airline last week, in a bid to boost travel and tourism between destinations in Africa and Europe.

Central and East African aviation is heating up across the board, with the likes of Air Congo being launched. This carrier holds a large investment from Ethiopian Airlines. Overall, several key players recognize the potential of African aviation, including big names outside of the continent such as Boeing and Qatar Airways.

There are several prospects in Africa, with a new middle-class growing and new passenger segments emerging. Therefore, carriers could continue to change their ticket prices this decade.

What are your thoughts about Kenya Airways? Have you flown with the carrier over the years? Share your thoughts about the airline and the overall prospects of African aviation in the comment section.

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