Kenya Airways (KQ) has been named the most expensive airline in Africa.
A study by competition authorities representing 24 African countries, including Kenya revealed that KQ charges the highest average fares on domestic and international flights.
The Kenyan national carrier charges more on average than other airlines operating in Africa, among them Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, and Air France.
The finding shows Kenya Airways risks losing market share to cheaper rivals such as Ethiopian and new entrants like Uganda Airlines.
Though there are a few instances where its rivals charge more, KQ had higher fares on most routes where it has competition.
“Kenya Airways has the highest average passenger price per kilometer (APPK) for all its domestic, regional and international routes,” the report by the African Competition Forum (ACF) says.
“In addition, the routes for the Tanzania markets from Nairobi have higher APPK than international routes, which are longer distances.”
For instance, KQ’s average price per kilometer on the Nairobi-Johannesburg route was Sh23.8 compared to Sh22 charged by South African Airways (SAA).
“Prices charged by two operators on this route are visibly different for both economy and business class categories. Kenya Airways prices are 21 percent higher than SAA prices for economy class tickets,” the report adds.
“For business tickets, SAA prices are significantly higher than Kenya Airways prices. Kenya Airways on average charges R14,089 (Sh106,000) for a business class ticket, while SAA charges R22,954.93 (Sh172,796) for the same class. SAA’s upper-end tickets sell at around 39 percent more than Kenya Airways prices.”
Kenya Airways also charged an average of Sh9.4 per kilometer on the Nairobi-Paris route compared to Air France’s Sh8.3.
“The Nairobi-Paris route is served by Air France and Kenya Airways, their prices have a difference of Sh5,000, Kenya Airways price being more,” the report says.
On the Nairobi-Addis Ababa route, KQ charged Sh15.6 per kilometer against Ethiopian Airlines’ Sh13.2.
The ticket pricing data was gathered in October 2019 from airline websites for 12 dates between November 2019 and March 2020.