Iata has urged the Kenyan government to use all “mechanisms at its disposal” to encourage air travel. This includes reducing PCR test fees, digitalising health certificates, and increasing intra-Africa connectivity.
“Kenya’s air transport recovery is stalling and requires ongoing support. Among the interventions, we are urging Kenya’s government to reduce the cost of PCR tests for travellers, which, at roughly US$80 each, is significantly higher than the average in Africa,” said Kamil Al Awadhi, Iata Regional VP for Africa and Middle East.
“The high cost of tests has become a major deterrent and a drag on the recovery of Kenya’s air transport and tourism sectors. An alternative solution would be to permit the use of more cost-effective antigen tests,” he added.
According to Iata’s latest passenger survey, 86% of respondents are willing to be tested. But 70% also believe that the cost of testing is a significant barrier to travel, and 78% believe governments should bear the cost of mandatory testing.
Iata has also urged Kenya to prioritise and implement the African Union’s Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which was intended to unlock travel within the continent. Post-pandemic, the SAATM would provide an even more necessary boost to the economy, creating around 39 000 new jobs and adding US$201m to Kenya’s GDP, Iata advised.