Kenyans returning to Kenya on a second evacuation flight from London to Nairobi on Friday, May 15, will be the first ones to have paid almost double air ticket price.
The cost of the Kenya Airways (KQ) chartered flight will be Ksh101,000 (£771) compared to that of their colleagues who returned to the country last week only paying Ksh53,495 (£430).
Across the chartered flights that KQ has provided to Kenyans stranded in India and China, the second UK evacuation flight is the most expensive.
For example, a KQ chartered flight from Guangzhou city in China to Nairobi had its ticket going for Ksh80,242 while that from Mumbai in India to Nairobi cost Ksh46,005.
However, KQ in justification of the cost stated that the May 4 flight from London to Nairobi was cheaper because the plane was ferrying cargo which balanced out the cost.
“There is a difference in price and this is because the flight on May 4 was ferrying cargo to and from the United Kingdom. It was, therefore, possible to balance out the operating costs between cargo and passenger services,” Kenya Airways told a local daily.
The first batch of 84 Kenyans stranded in the UK left London on May 4.
On Monday, Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu urged those who wish to return to Kenya to register with the mission in London before Friday, May 15.
“The Kenya Airways flight has been arranged through the good offices of the governments of Kenya and the United Kingdom. The flight will depart from London Heathrow Airport to JKIA Nairobi on Friday, 15th May, 2020,” the statement read.
He added: “The flight has been loaded on the Kenya Airways booking system and is available for sale on a first-come-first-served basis. Business-class tickets are available at GBP 2,140 and Economy class tickets at GBP 771 per seat.”
Besides paying almost double the normal rate of air tickets, these Kenyans will have to pay for their quarantine once in Kenya. It could last between 14-28 days.