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Parliament enacting law to end KQ monopoly

22 October 2014, 14:43 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The National Assembly is debating on a motion to make air fares affordable and open up the market for other airline operators to get rid of the Kenya Airways' (KQ) monopoly.

The motion introduced in the House by Chamgamwe MP, Omar Mwinyi, seeks the government to put in place measures to fully liberalize the air fares including awarding licenses to other operators to make air travel affordable for fair competition.

“Noting that Kenya Airways Limited enjoys monopoly in air transport in Kenya thus determining the rate of fares at will due to the monopoly they enjoy and that demand for air travel has increased tremendously,” reads part of Mwinyi’s tabled motion.

“Given that there is no regulatory body in place to supervise and ensure fair opportunity for competition by different airlines to ensure checks on the excesses of the airlines and that a number of airlines that applied for license to operate domestic flights are yet to get approvals,” it adds.

The MPs expressed their full support to the motion during debating session presided over by acting Speaker, Samuel Chepkonga,  arguing that the liberalization of the air sector will lead to improved airline services, promote fair competition and create more job opportunities for youths.

Also read: Kenya Airways migrates to modern JKIA hub

The Kaloleni MP, Gunga Mwinga, said, “If this law is enacted and respective law enforcement authorities undertake full implementation, domestic tourism will be boosted through licensing of other airlines and reduces air fares.”

Mwinga allowing other airlines into the liberalized market will allow 24-hour air travel operations in addition to giving the council of governors a chance to hold discussion for every county to get access to air services either ones or twice a week.

Awendo MP, Jared Opiyo alleged that KQ has been mistreating its clients in offering services because of enjoying the monopoly in the market and that the liberalization will ensure passengers are treated fairly.

“KQ’s dominance in the market has led to mistreatment of its clients including my fellow MPs at boarding points yet all people have a right to proper treatment at any travelling points,” said Opiyo.

“This House has to review tax regime of air transport for cheap to use by every Kenyan. The government should also do everything it can to free airspace for anyone to engage in air transport business for high degree of fair competition,” he added.

Kipipiri MP, Samuel Gichigi, said in addition to liberalization of the air transport, the government should also give incentives to investors in the sector to boost its growth.  

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