Africa’s Most Expensive Airline? Kenya Airways Attracts Attention

African aviation is going through a period of notable transition. With this shift, analysts have been looking at…

Africa’s Most Expensive Airline? Kenya Airways Attracts Attention

African aviation is going through a period of notable transition. With this shift, analysts have been looking at the market’s pricing. As a result, a report has shown that in Africa, Kenya Airways charges the most for its tickets.

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) is one of the authorities that took part in the study. Photo: Getty Images.

The top of the crop

The African Competition Forum (ACF) has shared a report that studied the aviation industries of 24 countries in Africa. The study looked at which airlines charged the highest average fares on domestic and international operations.

The conclusion was that Kenya Airways charged the highest on most routes where it has competition. In the vast majority of cases, it charged higher than the likes of South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways, and Air France.

Kenya Airways held the highest average passenger price per kilometer (APPK) for all its national, regional, and international routes. Moreover, Tanzanian routes had higher APPK than services routes, which traveled farther.

Kenya Airways at Nairobi
The study looked at data between the months of November 2019 and March 2020. Photo: Getty Images.

Looking at the figures

Taking a route as an example, the average price per kilometer on the Nairobi-Johannesburg route was Sh23.8. Meanwhile, South African Airways (SAA) charged Sh22. (1 Kenyan Shilling is 0.0090 US Dollar)

“Prices charged by two operators on this route are visibly different for both economy and business class categories. Kenya Airways prices are 21 percent higher than SAA prices for economy class tickets,” ACF’s report highlights, as shared by Business Daily.

“The Nairobi-Paris route is served by Air France and Kenya Airways, their prices have a difference of Sh5,000, Kenya Airways price being more. KQ charged Sh15.6 per kilometer on the Nairobi-Addis Ababa route, higher than Ethiopian Airlines’ Sh13.2.”

South African Airways charged higher than Kenya Airways when it came to business class, with the flag carrier of South Arica charging at around 39% higher than its competitor. Photo: Getty Images

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All eyes on Africa

Kenya Airways has been showing its intention of expanding its presence in fellow African nations in recent months. For instance, Congo Airways has begun wet leasing two Embraer E190 aircraft. Kenya Airways has also been in talks with South African Airways about forming a pan-African carrier.

The likes of British Airways have been ramping up collaborations with the carrier. The flag carrier of the United Kingdom signed a codeshare agreement with the airline last week, in a bid to boost travel and tourism between destinations in Africa and Europe.

Central and East African aviation is heating up across the board, with the likes of Air Congo being launched. This carrier holds a large investment from Ethiopian Airlines. Overall, several key players recognize the potential of African aviation, including big names outside of the continent such as Boeing and Qatar Airways.

There are several prospects in Africa, with a new middle-class growing and new passenger segments emerging. Therefore, carriers could continue to change their ticket prices this decade.

What are your thoughts about Kenya Airways? Have you flown with the carrier over the years? Share your thoughts about the airline and the overall prospects of African aviation in the comment section.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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What Does An Aircraft Look Like Inside During Certification?

The certification of any new aircraft requires scores of tests and thorough analysis to put the plane through…

What Does An Aircraft Look Like Inside During Certification?

The certification of any new aircraft requires scores of tests and thorough analysis to put the plane through its paces. But what does the inside of an aircraft look like during this time? The answer depends on what’s been tested and how many planes are taking part in the process. Let’s find out more.

The 777X is currently going through its certification procedure and has built four planes for the purpose. Photo: Boeing

Almost done

Making an aircraft is a tough task. After years of design and manufacturing processes, companies can proudly roll their first aircraft off the assembly line. However, this is the only start of a new journey: the certification process. Perhaps the most critical part, new aircraft models must go through extensive and extreme testing to prove their safety to global regulators.

When they are first built, test aircraft only have one fully completed part, the cockpit. The cabin of the jet is usually left empty for the various tests that will be carried out, which means the interiors look similar to a temporary freighter. However, this won’t be for long, as new systems are fitted for each test.

787-8 Test Aircraft
The cabin of the test aircraft is left empty to make room for various testing systems. Photo: H. Michael Miley via Wikimedia Commons

The most common sight inside a test aircraft is the engineer’s stations. These are sets of seats and server frames that include computers and sensors that track the movement of the aircraft in real-time. During all tests, engineers will keep checks on systems like fuel flow, engine response, efficiency, response time, and much more.

However, while this might be the most common sight, test aircraft include several more components across the fuselage.


In addition to internal systems, there are some special modifications made to test outdoor conditions too. For instance, to test aircraft turbulence and static pressure readings, the aircraft contains a 300-foot plastic tube that can be deployed out of the tail, according to Wired. This would mean leaving a portion of the fuselage unsealed and not installing anything in the usual galley area.

The aircraft can also be fitted with dozens of weight shifting tanks across the aircraft to simulate the changing center of gravity with passengers and cargo passengers. These tanks are filled with water and can transfer water between themselves to change the CGI.

747-8 Test Aircraft Nose Section
The 747-8s includes water tanks on the upper deck at the nose of the aircraft to simulate passengers. Photo: Olivier Cleynen via Wikimedia Commons

Every aircraft will have different requirements, and new systems can be added and removed as needed by the mission. Considering these planes undergo everything from long-haul flights to cold-soak testing, accurate data from these systems is critical for certification.


Currently, the most popular undergoing testing is the Boeing 777X. The American giant has built four 777-9s to participate in the test program, each of which checks different parts of the plane. Eventually, most of these aircraft will go into commercial service after they are outfitted with their respective cabins.

What do you think about the interiors of test aircraft? Let us know in the comments!

Source : Simple Flying More   

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