Kenya Airways (KQ) is Africa’s most expensive airline, according to a new study by competition authorities in 24 African countries.
The airline risks losing its market to competitors such as Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Air France.
“Kenya Airways has the highest average passenger price per kilometer (APPK) on all national, regional and international routes. In addition, the routes for the Tanzanian markets from Nairobi have a higher APPK than international routes, which are longer routes, ”says the report by the African Competition Forum (ACF).
The study found that the average KQ kilometer price on the Nairobi-Johannesburg route was Ksh 23.8, compared to Ksh 22 calculated by South African Airways (SAA).
Although KQ is Africa’s most expensive airline, the study found that there are routes on which KQ was slightly cheaper compared to other airlines.
“The prices charged by two operators on this route differ significantly in both the economy and business class categories. Kenya Airways prices are 21 percent higher than SAA prices for economy class tickets, ”the report said.
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“For business tickets, the SAA prices are significantly higher than the prices of Kenya Airways. Kenya Airways charges an average of R14,089 (Ksh106,000) for a business class ticket, while SAA charges R22,954.93 (Ksh172,796) for the same class. Upper-priced SAA tickets are sold around 39 percent more than Kenya Airways’ prices.
KQ averaged Ksh 9.4 per kilometer on the Nairobi-Paris route compared to Air France’s Ksh 8.3.
“The Nairobi-Paris route is served by Air France and Kenya Airways, their prices differ by 5,000 Ksh, while the price of Kenya Airways is higher,” the report said.
On the Nairobi-Addis Ababa route, KQ calculated Ksh 15.6 per kilometer compared to Ksh 13.2 from Ethiopian Airlines.
KQ has a market share of 48.7 percent of international flights from Kenya. In domestic flights, KQ, including its subsidiary Jambojet, has a market share of 36 percent.