Kenya Airways (KQ) is the most expensive airline in Africa, a new study by competition authorities representing 24 African countries has revealed.
The carrier risks losing its market to its peers like Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Air France.
“Kenya Airways has the highest average passenger price per kilometre (APPK) for all its domestic, regional and international routes. In addition, the routes for the Tanzania markets from Nairobi have higher APPK than international routes, which are longer distances,” the report by the African Competition Forum (ACF) says.
The study found that KQ’s average price per kilometre on the Nairobi-Johannesburg route was Ksh23.8 compared to Ksh22 charged by South African Airways (SAA).
Despite being the most expensive carrier in Africa, the study found that there are routes that KQ was a bit cheaper as compared to other airlines.
“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 says.
“For business tickets, SAA prices are significantly higher than Kenya Airways prices. Kenya Airways on average charges R14,089 (Ksh106,000) for a business class ticket, while SAA charges R22,954.93 (Ksh172,796) for the same class. SAA’s upper-end tickets sell at around 39 percent more than Kenya Airways prices.”
KQ charged an average of Ksh9.4 per kilometre on the Nairobi-Paris route compared to Air France’s Ksh8.3.
“The Nairobi-Paris route is served by Air France and Kenya Airways, their prices have a difference of Ksh5,000, Kenya Airways price being more,” the report says.
On the Nairobi-Addis Ababa route, KQ charged Ksh15.6 per kilometre as compared to Ethiopian Airlines’ Ksh13.2.
KQ enjoys a market share of 48.7 percent of international flights originating from Kenya. For domestic flights, including its subsidiary Jambojet, KQ has a market share of 36 percent.