Kenya Airways’ #ticker:KQ chartered planes are charging nearly the normal commercial rates to fly back hundreds of Kenyans currently stranded in London, Mumbai and Guangzhou.
The chartered flights, scheduled to arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) between May 4 and May 8, will, however, be available only for Kenyans who test negative for Covid-19.
The national carrier will carry passengers on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which has the capacity for up to 335 passengers in a three-class seating configuration, the airline said
The passengers from London will pay Sh53,495 ($500) for the one-way ticket, which is Sh5,280 above the Sh48,215 (Sh96,430 two and fro) that KQ normally charges on the route this time of the year.
Passengers currently stranded in Mumbai and Guahzhou will pay Sh46,005 ($430) and Sh80,242 ($750) for the one-way tickets.
“London flight is scheduled for May 4 while Mumbai and Guangzhou flights will leave on May 7 and May 8 respectively,” said the airline in a response to Business Daily queries Monday.
The airliner, however, declined to disclose the time the flights will depart London, Mumbai and Guangzhou, terming it a security matter.
Plans to repatriate Kenyans stuck in London, Mumbai and Guangzhou come barely two weeks after KQ charged expatriates in Kenya up to three times normal ticket prices to return to their home countries on a chartered flight.
The airline was charging Sh187,692 ($1,876) for the one-way ticket, including testing for Covid-19 at Lancet laboratory in Nairobi.
Kenya Airways chief executive Allan Kilavuka in a separate interview with the Business Daily said the cost was within range as the airline had to meet other costs.
“This is a charter flight. Under normal operations, the cost is spread out. Now it is concentrated on a few flights. There is also the extra cost of protection, cleaning and fumigation,” he said then.