KQ warn of increased ticket prices if Russia-Ukraine conflict persists

The price of oil has risen to its highest since 2008

A picture taken on August 1, 2020 shows Kenya Airways planes parked at the parking bay at the Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi as Kenya Airways airline resumed flights to Britain after flights had been canceled during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic outbreak. (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Travelers will be forced to dig deeper into their pockets to purchase Kenya Airways tickets in the event the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict persists.

Kenya Airways Commercial Director Julius Thairu in an interview with American media company, Bloomberg explained how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulted in an oil price surge hence might result in a ticket price increase.

“We have started seeing many of the airlines taking action on this to ensure that they are able to keep on flying,” Thairu said in the interview.

Brent crude reached a peak of $137.75 (Sh15,682.84) a barrel on March 7, as the United States and allies consider ban on Russian oil. This is the highest it has been since the 2008 Financial Crisis.

The prospect of expanded sanctions hitting Russian oil shipments has jolted global commodity markets already unsettled by the increasing difficulty of transacting with Russian providers.

Kenya Airways projects its revenue will climb by more than 50% this year, barring the emergence of a disruptive coronavirus variant and potential jitters around the August 9 General Elections, Thairu said.

“We have currently restored more than 90% of our network, we are flying to 42 destinations and 35 of those destinations are in Africa,” Thairu emphasised.

Kenya Airways to downsize fleet

This comes only weeks after reports came out that the airline commonly referred to as the Pride of Africa, was reported to be cutting its fleet from 36 planes to 27 in a bid to cut costs and rejuvenate the company.

According to the report, Kenya Airways was considering reducing its fleet of nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners to five, and the number of its 15 Embraer ERJ 190-100ARs to ten.

With the Dreamliner being the largest and only long-haul aircraft in its fleet, it serves all of Kenya’s intercontinental routes, serving cities such as London, Paris, Bangkok and New York.

According to Cirium data, Kenya Airways has projected almost 37,000 flights in total between February and August 2022, of which approximately 23,000 – or 62% – are by the Embraer 190.

The best of these is the long 4,088km link from Nairobi to Cape Town. Depending on the day, these route changes via either Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe or Livingstone, Zambia.

However, chairman Michael Joseph said no decision had been made yet. “Nothing has been decided,’’ he told The Star Newspaper.

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