By Doreen Wainainah
Kenya Airways has reduced free baggage allowance for flights from Nairobi to East African routes from the beginning of April.
Passengers flying from Nairobi to Entebbe, Dar es Salaam, Kigali, Bujumbura, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar will now be allowed one piece of luggage, down from two.
“Passengers will only be allowed one piece of 23 kilogrammes as checked in baggage.
“For passengers who wish to carry an extra bag there will be an additional fee of $20 (Sh2,060) per bag,” says a memo from Kenya Airways to its managers and sales offices.
Holiday goers are bound to be the most affected by the move as they carry more items to and from their destinations.
The baggage allowance policy for the carrier is determined by the route, body type of the aircraft and the class.
Domestic routes have the lowest baggage allowance and will now be joined by the East African routes with the single piece for economy fliers.
Previously, the travellers on the route would have had a total of 46 kilogrammes for the two pieces, with every additional piece accruing an extra charge.
In 2014, the carrier became one of the first in Africa to adopt piece concept baggage policy, moving away from the weight concept. The rule restricting baggage to a single piece is mostly used by budget carriers.
The model allows for airlines to make additional revenue beyond the ticket sales.
KQ was technically insolvent late last year when its total assets were valued at Sh158.6 billion against liabilities of Sh197.4 billion, leaving it in a negative equity position of Sh38.9 billion.
The airline sank Sh17 billion in loan repayments in the half year to September 2016, representing a 54 per cent growth from the Sh11.3 billion it spent on debt servicing in a similar period a year earlier.