Safarilink airline has admonished Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o after complaining about flight ticket pricing.
The county boss on Thursday said the airline was ripping off passengers after he paid Sh19,000 for a ticket that previously went for Sh5,500 or Sh7,000.
“On 3rd February 2023, I was booked to fly to Kisumu from Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Safarilink airline’s 7 am flight No. 081, ticket reference no 49141F,” said Prof Nyong’o.
“On the previous evening, I called my secretary to confirm the flight. She told me all was well except that Safarilink was asking for Sh19,000 for a one-way flight from Nairobi to Kisumu. The usual charges have been between Sh5,500 and Sh7,000.”
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The governor said that he took the flight but issued a directive stopping county staff from using their service effective February 9, 2023.
Safarilink on their part described the county chief’s comments as unfortunate and accused him of “being ungrateful” for not appreciating the concessions they had made for him over the years.
“We, in turn, have supported the Kisumu County in various ways with various sponsorships towards various projects and you personally when we have held back flights when you were running late,” said the airline.
Safarilink defended itself, claiming it had a duty to its shareholders who expected some returns after enduring a challenging three years during Covid without assistance or concessions from the government.
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“Private airlines have to contend with multiple taxes and levies such as VAT on fuel, railway development levy, expensive spare parts, VAT on engine overhauls, and the sliding Kenya shillings,” added the airline.
Safarilink added that other airlines that receive government assistance charge higher costs.
In a statement, it explained that the cost of their flights from Nairobi to Kisumu ranges from Sh5,500 to Sh19,000 depending on a number of factors.
“The earlier one books the cheaper the fare. In this instance, you booked this flight directly from our website the evening before the flight and hence the fare was based on the last seat available,” it added.
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