Airlines battle to occupy skies through lower fares in Kenya

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With growing demands for air travel and expanding air services in Kenya, passengers flying within this African nation are now enjoying lower and competitive fares on local flights.

Destination Kenya in East Africa has attracted several airlines to fly its skies to attract more domestic flights with Kenyans enjoying lower fares.

Reported this week by Business Daily was the good news to local and foreign travelers with Kenyan skies, enjoying competitive airfares from locally-registered airlines plying between the capital city of Nairobi and other towns inside this African safari destination.

Airline executives attribute the lower airfares as a result of positive competition in Kenya’s skies.

In the last three months, Kenyan-registered local airlines have launched new routes including the far-flung Wajir, that for many years lagged in developed air transport.

Stiff and increased competition over Kenyan open skies remain the secret behind lower air tickets which dropped to as low as KSh 3,200 – equivalent to US$32 for a one-way ticket to some destinations.

Among key competitors, is the Silverstone which is currently operating 5 planes on its local routes. It has recently introduced daily flights to Lodwar in Western Kenya, attracting rivalry on the route that is also served by Fly540, Safarilink, and other carriers.

Nairobi witnessed an increase in domestic flight seats compared to international average in the first seven months of 2017 according to a travel analysis firm ForwardKeys.

Among the top 10 airports in Africa, Nairobi is the only one that saw a bigger growth in domestic seat capacity, while Lagos slumped on both the local and international fronts.

Air travel analysts had welcomed Kenya’s aviation development with great hopes to observe more changes in air business across the East African region where the rest of the member states are limping with their local airlines.

Kenya is the major connection for tourists and business travelers arriving and leaving the East African region by its fast-growing aviation sector.

Tanzania, the closer business partner with Kenya, is still facing incompatible air fare prices which few passengers can afford to purchase, while hostile government taxes imposed on the aviation sector is the other cause for higher air tickets.

PrecisionAir Services, a privately-owned Tanzanian-registered airline, flies to Nairobi, making a good connection between the Kenyan capital and key safari sites, mostly the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar, the northern tourist of Arusha, and the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.

FastJet is the other fast-moving airline plying in key Tanzanian business towns, looking to extend its wings to cover more local destinations in East Africa.

Air Tanzania, the government-owned national airline is still recuperating from losses but flying at a snail’s pace with its newly-acquired two Bombardier Q400 equipment.