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Sh195K plane ticket from Kenya to Uganda stirs debate on social media

A flight from Nairobi to Entebbe, Uganda usually takes one hour

A plane on th runway

A social media storm erupted after renowned CNN international correspondent, Larry Madowo, expressed shock and dismay over exorbitant charges for a seemingly short-haul flight from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Entebbe.

Madowo, who took to X to share his disbelief, highlighted the hefty fee of $1,268 (Sh195,906) for a round-trip between Nairobi and Entebbe.

In a post that quickly went viral, Madowo criticised the startling cost of the 1-hour flight and questioned the affordability of air travel within the continent.


"Hard to believe but Kenya Airways charged me $1,268 for a 1-hour flight Nairobi-Entebbe return in cattle class. How can Africans travel the continent at such ridiculous prices even for short distances?" he asked.

Despite purchasing his ticket just a day before travel, Madowo argued that the exorbitant pricing raised concerns about the failure of dynamic pricing systems, especially for last-minute bookings.

"I bought my ticket a day before travel, but there’s still no reason why a 1-hour flight should cost almost Sh200,000. This is a failure of dynamic pricing. And I say this as someone who buys tickets last minute for a living," he said.

Dynamic pricing, also known as surge pricing or demand pricing, is a pricing strategy where businesses adjust the prices of their products or services based on various factors, such as demand, supply, and other market conditions.


In the aviation industry, last-minute flights cost much more than flights booked months in advance.

For comparison, if today you book a return flight from Nairobi to Entebbe scheduled for April 2024, the most you would pay is Sh67,000 and the least is Sh30,000.

The journalist's complaint struck a chord on social media platforms, triggering a wave of reactions from users who shared similar experiences and voiced their frustration over the perceived high cost of domestic and regional flights.

As the issue gained traction online, discussions revolved around the broader implications of such pricing models, with many users expressing concern about the accessibility of air travel for ordinary Africans.

Flying within Africa can be more expensive than travelling to other international destinations in terms of pricing.


According to a report by the African Airlines Association, passengers in Africa pay around $50 in taxes, while passengers in Europe pay $30.25.

In addition, low demand is one of the biggest factors contributing to the high cost of flights within Africa. Africa has only 1% of the world's air traffic despite having 12% of the world's population.

Limited competition among airlines in some African countries can also result in higher prices for flights.


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