Air fares shoot up as high tourist season kicks in

Jambojet has increased its fares for the Mombasa routes in the high season. FILE PHOTO | NMG The high season at the Kenya’s popular tourist destinations have seen the cost of air ticket more than double as airlines cash in on high demand.

Coastal towns of Mombasa, Malindi and Ukunda have registered a significant increase in air fares compared with other regions in the country.

For instance, a one-way air ticket to Mombasa on budget airlines Fly 540 and Jambojet costs Sh6,540-Sh14,770, and Sh7,700-Sh9,700 respectively.

Ordinarily in low seasons, passengers would pay a maximum of about Sh5,700 to Mombasa flying most of these airlines.

The Kenya Airways, which has been charging as low as Sh4,465 as at May this year, is now charging between Sh8,257 and Sh13,070 for a one-way ticket to Mombasa.

August is one of the high seasons in most of the tourist destinations in Kenya given that most schools are closed with parents seeking to take their children out on holiday. South Coast appears to have registered high demand for tourists with airlines flying to Ukunda charging exorbitantly on the route.

For instance, a one-way ticket to Ukunda is going for Sh10,700 this week costing Sh15,700 on Jambojet, with airlines recording nearly full booking during the season.

Air tickets on Eldoret route have remained low compared to any other region with no significant change on charges. Jambojet is charging Sh4,700 for a one-way ticket from Nairobi to Eldoret and vice versa.The route has over the years been the cheapest given low demand by passengers travelling to the North Rift town. The domestic air market has seen rising demand in the recent years as more Kenyans opt to fly due to rising incomes and falling air fares with some airlines charging as low as Sh3,000 one way.

To meet the increasing demand, the Kenya Airports Authority has been expanding regional airstrips to allow them accommodate larger aircraft.

Ukunda and Manda airstrips upgrade is expected to boost tourism to Lamu and Kwale counties.

The coastal city routes have always been the most expensive in the country given high demand from both local and international tourists.

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