Jet fuel consumption drops 85pc on aviation lockdown

Aeroplanes at the JKIA in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Jet fuel consumption dropped 85 percent last month as the country concluded the first month of a freeze on flights due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The grounding of all passenger flights in the country and on international routes began on April 6 after a government ban on movement to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Data from the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority show that only 7.7 million litres of jet fuel were consumed in April compared to the 54 million litres a month earlier.

This represents the second major consumption drop after almost a 30 percent plunge in February when the effects of the pandemic began to manifest.

The country first banned international flights in late March, forcing Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ and other carriers to limit themselves to fly domestic routes, which were later cut off as cessation of movement began in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale.


President Uhuru Kenyatta has since extended the partial lockdown for another three weeks with the freeze now expected to last until June 6 when it would be reviewed.

Airlines took to their social media pages to update the extended freeze in operations.

“The government has extended the cessation of movement order in an out of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kilifi and Kwale for an additional 21 days. In light of this, Jambojet will extend its temporary suspension of operations. We regret to inform our passengers and business partners that all the flights for the said period are cancelled with immediate effect,” Jambo jet wrote on its official Twitter page.

The prolonged lockdown now means the jet fuel sales will continue the plunge that started in March, giving marketers three straight months of reduced sales and badly affecting their revenue streams. The situation has been worsened by another significant cut in consumption of petrol and diesel which have failed to attract more consumers despite the fall in pump prices.

Motorists have been forced to park their cars as the lockdown in major towns including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale and Madera remains in force even as pump prices sank lowest in close to four years.

Last month, petrol pump prices dropped by the largest margin since the government began regulating pump prices but consumption dipped sharply as motorists bought 41.5 million litres less.