While in Nairobi a few days ago it could be confirmed that Kenya Airways had commenced, what one staff has on condition of anonymity described as a trial, a policy of no longer serving alcoholic drinks on domestic routes, not in either business or economy class, while meals too will no longer be served on board for J-class passengers as was the case until now.
As seen in the domestic business class lounge on Friday last week, hot and cold snacks are served however in the lounge at the departure gate, where passengers booked on J-class and those with sufficient miles accrued on their account can enjoy some bites, beers and wine for that matter, before boarding their flights to either Mombasa, Malindi or Kisumu.
These are short flights and we are now trying to see how this change will affect our business class clients and their reaction. On board the cabin crew continues to serve soft drinks, juices and coffee or tea, while J-class passengers will be offered our mixed nut variety the same source said while explaining the changes.
On regional routes an expanded service is however maintained for both classes in the aircraft, as competition on such routes requires matching services while on Kenyas domestic routes KQ competes with low cost airlines which do not generally provide inflight meal services nor offer business class on all routes as Kenya Airways does.
Cost pressures, over fuel and the expected rise in regulatory fees, has caused the margins on domestic sectors shrink, prompting The Pride of Africa a few weeks ago to introduce US Dollar based charges for domestic flights, but the recent strengthening of the Kenya Shilling may see this policy reviewed and reversed soon, should it become evident that Shilling based fares will be to the advantage of the airline compared to sticking to US Dollar based ticket prices. The change in catering policy too is attributed to the need to make ends meet and save money without in principle compromising service levels regular KQ passengers have come to expect.