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Air passengers decry hiked flight tickets ahead of lockdown deadline

Air travelers are lamenting the losses and inconveniences they have been subjected to following the locking up of five counties by President Uhuru Kenyatta in an effort to stop the fast spreading Coronavirus.

 

The government had explained that Kenyans had until Sunday 8pm to move into or out of the five counties classified as highly coronavirus infected. The locked regions are Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and Nakuru.

 

Speaking to KNA at Moi International airport in Mombasa on Monday, Ali Abdulrahman, who had travelled from Paris, France to Kenya to make merry said the prompt cut of his holiday saw him pay double the flight ticket from Mombasa to Nairobi.

“I paid Sh.10, 000 while coming to Mombasa from Nairobi two weeks ago. Now I have paid Sh.20, 000 which is double the amount,” he said adding that he had to cancel his safari ride that was to be yesterday to catch up with the deadline.

 

Another passenger, Mark Ongangi said he paid an extra Sh4, 000 for a flight back to Nairobi after cutting short his vacation at Mombasa’s Pride inn hotel where he had checked in last week. “The ticket was Sh.5, 000 from Nairobi to Mombasa for Jambo jet. But I guess I am lucky because my friend who had booked with Kenya Airways had to pay 18,000 back to Nairobi,” said Mr. Ongangi.

 

In a press release dated March 26, 2021, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) noted that domestic flights shall continue to operate until Monday 29, 2021at 12pm. “Operation of aircrafts shall be allowed until the scheduled deadline, and thereafter cease any movements,” said Captain Gilbert Kibe, KCAA Director General.

 

Government’s spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said that the transition period was meant for Kenyans who were stranded away from work places to travel.

 

However, interviewed by KNA, many people said the two days that the government allowed for travel were not enough owing to hiked fares in the wake of hard economic times.

 

By Chari Suche

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