KQ charges local fares in dollars

October 25, 2011
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 25- Domestic passengers on Kenya Airways flights will from now on pay for their fares in dollars as the airline moves to cushion itself from volatile exchange rates.

The airline’s Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni on Tuesday said the decision to dollar-denominate their fares was made on the back of the recent spikes in the exchange rate regime.

“The move, which takes immediate effect, comes in the wake of recent fluctuations in the exchange rate between Kenya Shilling and the US dollar,” said Naikuni in a statement.

The local currency has deteriorated this year losing about 26.2 percent of its value to a historic low of Sh107 and making it one of the worst performing units in the world.

This depreciation has particularly hurt importers including airlines whose major purchases are dollar-denominated.

“While Kenya Airways international fares have always been dollar denominated, we have been compelled to do the same with the domestic fares due to the frequent fluctuation of the Kenya Shilling to the US dollar that we have experience over the past few weeks,” he explained.

Passengers residing in the country, he added will still be able to buy air tickets using the local currency, based on the prevailing exchange rate.

“Travel agents and KQ sales offices will accept ticket purchases in Kenya Shillings as per the prevailing dollar rate of the day,” concludes Naikuni.

This decision has however not gone down well with many travelers and even the Central Organisation of Trade Unions which has termed it as ‘ill advised’.

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