Brace for high cost of air tickets, KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka tells prospective passengers

KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka. [Photo courtesy]

Air tickets for Kenya Airways will not be cheap once flights resume, KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka has stated.

“Travel is not going to be cheap. 55-65% of people travel for leisure. Therefore we are going to lose 51-76% of our market between now and December as business travellers are the ones that are going to travel first,” the Ministry of Tourism quoted the KQ CEO.

Kilavukarecently held a strategy meeting with the Najib Balala led ministry seeking to build measures to resuscitate the industry as COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Kilavuka maintained that the flight industry is bound to adopt new measures post COVID-19 if it is to survive in future.

He insisted that KQ will lose between 51-76% of its market between May and December as domestic tourism is currently on a standstill while business tourism is also inactive.

In reference to social distancing which may continue, he said that the empty seats will force the airline to hike air tickets to cut down on losses.

In a recent evacuation flight from the UK to Nairobi, KQ charged nearly double the normal price for a ticket from London to Nairobi.

Stranded Kenyans who were evacuated from UK on May 15 paid Ksh101, 000 for a one-way ticket in the chartered flight.

KQ in response to this said that the high cost has been informed by other health safety measures that the airline is required to undertake in the wake of coronavirus which raises the operation cost.

Once flights resume, all passengers and crew will be required to wear face masks while the airport staff will be in full protective gear all the time.

Tourism PS Sophia Kwekwe said that the ministry is working on modalities to ensure that domestic tourism takes root in a bid to boost both the airline and hospitality industry.

“Domestic Tourism is going to be the way forward. Road and train travel is going to pick first. We are therefore working on opening up the regions that have not been as popular as parks and the Coast. We also looking into pursuing bilateral tourism,” Kwekwe stated.