Kenyans to enjoy cheaper flights across East Africa soon

The agreement will see flight rates drop by a big margin.

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This is after Kenya and the rest of East Africa agreed on an open skies agreement between regional aviation regulators.

Once the agreement is signed and becomes operational it will effectively change flights within East Africa to domestic flights leading to a drop in air tickets rates by up to 12% across the region.

Currently domestic flyers are charged a service fee of $5 compared to the $50 paid by international passengers.

Kenya Airways for instance charges € 300 .61 (about Sh40000) to fly to Dar es salaam from Nairobi.

Once the agreement comes into place, the same flight would cost East Africans Sh35,200, a reduction of Sh4800.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said that following negotiations with their counterparts in the region, the recommendation was agreed to in principle.

KCAA director-general Captain Gilbert Kibe added they are now pushing their respective governments to sign the agreement.

The reason for the review of the pricing structure is because it is estimated that 43% of air ticket prices in the region comprise regulatory charges and taxes, with regulatory charges accounting for up to 24%.

Air travel in East Africa has grown by 3.4% in the past decade against a global growth rate of 5.5%. a trend attributed to high intra-EAC air fares.

This combined with lowering of traffic restrictions  after the introduction of the East African passport, followed later by adoption of Swahili language as the official language of the region East Africa is posed to integrate more and grow more.

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