Kenya Airways (KQ) has nearly doubled air ticket prices for repatriating Kenyans stranded in Britain who will Friday pay £771 (Ksh101,000) to fly back to Nairobi from London.
The national carrier on May 4 flew in Kenyans stranded Britain for a £430 (Ksh53,495) from London to Nairobi.
This makes it the costliest chartered services of all the repatriation missions that KQ has offered to Kenyans scrambling to return in the wake of coronavirus, which has seen most airlines ground planes as governments imposed movement restrictions.
Passengers from Mumbai and Guangzhou paid Ksh46, 005 ($430) and Ksh80,242 ($750) for the one-way tickets a week ago respectively.
“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 the Business Daily.
KQ has been surviving on cargo and chartered services following the grounding of passenger services after the State suspended all cross-border passenger flights on March 22.
On April 6, the government also barred movement into and out of four counties including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi, forcing KQ to ground flights and hinge its survival solely on cargo business.
The chartered flights, scheduled to arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Friday, will, however, be available only for Kenyans who test negative for Covid-19.
The cost of the tests for Covid-19 will be met by the passengers.
The national carrier will carry passengers on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which has the capacity for up to 335 passengers in a three-class seating configuration.