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MPs table motion to regulate Kenya Airways fares

30 October 2014, 12:48 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Members of Parliament have continued their castigation of national carrier Kenya Airways, saying that they will seek legislation to ensure they are clipped in the wings.

The MPs have in the last couple of weeks sought legislation to open up the skies to further competition by allowing other big airlines the chance to operate in the local route.

They claim that the level of service from Kenya Airways is poor and that they have been mistreated in the past.

Then there was the incident last week where Senate Minority leader Moses Wetangula was denied entry into a Kenya Airways plane because he lacked his national identity card.

That has brought sharp focus back to the airline.

And now MPs have sought to have the airline punished for the Wetangula incident in a motion tabled, where it seeks to have the government regulate airfares.

Read also: Foreign ambassadors urged to spur development

The motion, the brainchild of Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi seeks to also have a body created to regulate airfares within the country to allow alternative airlines take a share of the market.

And with MPs already angry at the airline, there is a high chance that the motion will be passed.

That said, analysts feel that regulating airfares will be a hard task for the house seeing as it is a liberal market.

" The only issue is that the air industry is a consumer's market. Even if we have a low cost alternative, if someone likes and trusts Kenya Airways, they will go for it. It will be difficult to control and contain," Jimmy Munai, a transport expert told News24.

And with the government also a shareholder at the airline, it will be hard to see the legislation effected.

" If you owned a company, would you allow another equally competitive one to take over your own space? Difficult to see," he added.

MPs claimed that the airline should  be denied the monopoly it holds over the Kenyan market and so it awaits to be seen if the planned changes will go through.

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