Regulators have said that Kenya Airways has the most expensive tickets among airlines operating in Africa.
The national carrier is charging more on average than its competitors Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Air France, among others.
“Kenya Airways has the highest average passenger price per kilometre (APPK) for all its domestic, regional and international routes,” the report by the African Competition Forum (ACF) said. The report was compiled by competition authorities representing 24 African countries. The study collected ticket pricing data in October 2019 from airline websites for 12 dates between November 2019 and March 2020.
The study, which The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) took part, established that KQ charges the highest average fares on both domestic and international flights in Africa.
“In addition, the routes for the Tanzania markets from Nairobi have higher APPK than international routes, which are long distances,” the report said.
“Kenya Airways’ average price per kilometre on the Nairobi-Johannesburg route, for instance, was Sh23.8 compared to Sh22 charged by South African Airways (SAA).”
Analysts warned that KQ risks losing its market share to its competitors due to its expensive tickets.
“Prices charged by two operators on this route are visibly different for both economy and business class categories. Kenya Airways prices are 21 per cent higher than SAA prices for economy class tickets,” the report says.
“For business tickets, SAA prices are significantly higher than Kenya Airways prices. Kenya Airways on average charges R14,089 (Sh106,000) for a business class ticket, while SAA charges R22,954.93 (Sh172,796) for the same class. SAA’s upper-end tickets sell at around 39 per cent more than Kenya Airways prices.”
KQ charged an average of Sh9.4 per kilometre on the Nairobi-Paris route compared to Air France’s Sh8.3.
“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,” the report says. KQ charged Sh15.6 per kilometre on the Nairobi-Addis Ababa route, higher than Ethiopian Airlines’ Sh13.2.