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Kenyan domestic airfares soar amidst fuel price surge

Kenyan Air travel gets costlier as jet fuel prices surge

Renegade Air

As jet fuel costs reach unprecedented levels following the doubling of Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products, domestic airfares in Kenya are set to skyrocket.

The middle class, who often opt for air travel over road transportation, will bear the brunt of these price increases.

Renegade Air, a prominent domestic carrier operating routes to Kisumu, Wajir, and Homa Bay, has already hinted at potential price hikes.

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They anticipate raising their one-way ticket prices by approximately Sh500. The surge in VAT on fuel by 50 percent has prompted this adjustment, pushing a journey to Kisumu, for instance, to be significantly costlier.

Notably, airlines factor in various components when determining ticket prices, including the dollar rate, landing charges, navigation fees, and fuel prices.

With the soaring cost of jet fuel, airlines across the board are compelled to reevaluate their fares, resulting in consumers having to bear the burden.

Abdifatah Mohamed, Head of Finance at Freedom Airline, revealed that all domestic carriers in Kenya are presently reviewing their ticket prices upwards.

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Consequently, consumers should expect an imminent increase in airfare costs as these adjustments take effect.

It is important to highlight that the impact of increased fuel taxes only affects domestic carriers, as international flights are considered tax-free exports.

Consequently, Kenyan budget carrier Jambojet, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways, has already implemented revised ticket prices.

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For example, a one-way journey from Nairobi to Kisumu now ranges between Sh6,900 and Sh9,400, with fares on the Eldoret-Nairobi route reaching Sh7,900 to Sh8,900.

When considering air travel, passengers must also account for other factors that influence fares, such as passenger demand and travel timing.

Flights to popular destinations like Mombasa traditionally incur higher fares due to heightened demand, while morning and evening flights tend to be more expensive than afternoon alternatives.

As domestic carriers strive to adapt to the escalating costs of jet fuel, travelers in Kenya will have to grapple with the reality of increasingly unaffordable airfares.

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