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Economy

Domestic air fares rocket in full Easter bookings

JKIA
Planes at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Most flights to Kisumu, Malindi and Mombasa from Nairobi are fully booked ahead of Easter holidays with tickets rising nearly 50 percent for a few seats available.

Flights to Malindi on Jambojet are fully booked in the two days to Friday while the Thursday evening planes to Eldoret and Kisumu from the capital are also full.

Silverstone Airline, which operates from Wilson Airport, is fully booked on April 18 and 19 for Mombasa and Kisumu routes.

Air fares for available seats to Mombasa have increased to Sh15,500 on Thursday, up from less than Sh10,000 on normal days and a peak of Sh12,000 that Jambojet charged ahead of Christmas last year.

These fares are based on yesterday’s bookings and they are expected to continue rising closer to the celebrations.

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The cost on all routes will come down on actual day as the number of travellers reduces significantly.

The carriers’ main challenge has been convincing Kenyans to book early, which is vital to the low-cost model.

The rising air fares triggered the rush for the SGR tickets to Mombasa, which goes for Sh3,000 on First Class and Sh1,000 on Economy coaches.

The SGR train is fully booked highlighting an increase on number of passengers who will be travelling to the coast for Easter festivities, offering a boost to hoteliers.

Kenya’s Coast is one of the favourite destinations for most Kenyans seeking holiday destinations, underlined by the fully booked flights to Malindi from Nairobi.

Kenya Railways has steadily increased coaches on the Nairobi-Mombasa line, since the SGR launch in June 2017 to match rising demand.

Yesterday, Kenya Airways said it was deploying the premium Dreamliner plane on the Mombasa route and additional flights to Kisumu from Nairobi to match the demand.

"Our customers to Mombasa will also get a chance to experience the state-of the-art Dreamliner which usually operates on international routes,” said Kenya Airways Group CEO Sebastian Mikosz.

Passengers travelling to the lake side city would ordinarily pay Sh4,500 and Sh6,500 one way, but are currently paying Sh12,500 on the flight departing Nairobi at 1.10pm on Thursday. The evening flight is fully booked.

Air fares to Eldoret from Nairobi have been relatively low as the route is still not as popular as Kisumu and Mombasa.

The route remains the cheapest among the major domestic routes due to low demand.

A one-way ticket to Eldoret from Nairobi on Thursday lunch time will cost Sh8,500 on Jambojet.

This is a significant rise given that the average fare to the North Rift town is Sh4,500. The evening flight is also fully booked.

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