Domestic airlines to Western Kenya are fully booked between Thursday and Sunday, signalling increased air travel ahead of Monday’s Christmas holiday. On Wednesday, Jambojet, Skyward Express and Fly540 said they had sold out all seats on flights to Kisumu and Eldoret between December 21 and 24.
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This year’s bookings represent a more than 20 percent growth, highlighting the increased demand for air travel with the introduction of budget carriers.
Jambojet said it still had space on three Saturday flights to Eldoret (6 am, 1 pm and 6 pm) with the few seats left going for Sh10,200 from Sh4,200 for passengers, who booked at the beginning of the year.
The Kisumu route was fully booked to Saturday and last evening’s flight had only one seat remaining. The Nairobi-Kisumu route is charging Sh14,200, up from less than the usual Sh10,000. Skyward Express, which flies to Lodwar via Eldoret, is fully booked between Thursday and Sunday.
“Sorry‚ we cannot find any seats available on the date you have requested. Please try another date combination or contact us for further information,” reads a statement from the company’s website.
Fly540 flight to Homa Bay from Nairobi is fully booked to Sunday. The situation is somewhat different on the Nairobi-Mombasa route where there is a 50 percent chance for travellers to get seats.
One-way bookings for Fly 540 (9 am and 7 pm) from Nairobi to Mombasa are available at Sh11,270. Flights to Lamu on the same airline on the same day are sold out.
Skyward Express, which started flying the Lamu route from March this year, has all seats for December 21 and 22 sold out.
Increased demand has seen Jambojet introduce additional flights to Coastal cities as it seeks to cash on a high number of passengers visiting the region for holidays.
Airline chief executive officer Willem Hondius said on Tuesday there has been increased demand for air travel between Nairobi and the Coast, forcing the company to raise frequency starting Wednesday.
Jambojet has increased the number of flights to Malindi, Mombasa, and Ukunda to 3, 4 and 3 flights per week respectfully.Prices of booking air tickets have significantly gone up in the last one month as more passengers seek to travel by plane. Those who have been booking from last week are paying almost double the price compared with travellers who booked in November.
To enjoy a low price on a budget airline, passengers are supposed to book way in advance before their travel date.
With report from Daily Nation