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Air travel is not going to be cheap if we resume flights – KQ CEO

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka said the price of air tickets will most likely be hiked if the government allows the national carrier to resume flights.

Kilavuka was speaking during a strategy meeting organised by the Ministry of Tourism to discuss how the industry can recover from the effects of Covid-19.

He indicated that air travel would completely change as every country comes up with new plans and policies to be adapted post coronavirus.

55 to 65 percent of people, he noted, travelled for leisure, which means between May and December airlines are missing out on this big business and income.

“Travel is not going to be cheap. 55-65% of people travel for leisure. Therefore we are going to lose 51-76% of our market between now and December as business travellers are the ones that are going to travel first,” Kilavuka said.

In addition, the social distancing between seats in the plane will be the new norm which will result in a spike in the cost of air tickets to cover for uncoccupied seats.

The KQ boss noted that among other norms will be mandatory wearing of face masks by air passengers and crew and airport staff to wear protective gear.

Tourism PS Sophia Kwekwe, who was also at the meeting, added that domestic tourism is what the government is banking on to boot the hospitality industry.

“Domestic Tourism is going to be the way forward. Road and train travel is going to pick first. We are therefore working on opening up the regions that have not been as popular as parks and the Coast. We also looking into pursuing bilateral tourism,” Kwekwe said.