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Wealthy Kenyans selling off their planes to ‘survive’



Private Planes in Kenya: Wealthy Kenyans who own planes have been selling them off to beat the economic hardships that started in 2020. According to a report that was released by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, the number of registered planes dropped to 735 from 807 in 2019. This means that in the tough 2020 year alone, wealthy individuals in Kenya sold off 72 planes.

These sales reflect the findings of the Knight Frank Wealth Report, which shows that the number of Kenyans with a net worth of at least $30 million (Sh. 3.3 billion) including their primary residence, dropped to 90 last year, from 106 in 2019. In that period, the number of high-net-worth individuals, defined as those with at least $1 million (Sh. 109 million) including their primary residence, dropped by an even larger margin, with up to 912 Kenyans falling out of this club last year that had 4,235 members in 2019.

In August last year, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) threatened to auction over 100 planes owned by Kenyan tycoons over unpaid parking charges. “The KAA, the agency in charge of operations, safety and security at all Kenyan airports, gave the aircraft’s owners 30 days to claim them or have them sold through public auction.

The planes included those used by business tycoons and politicians for short flights and commercial aircraft owned by top firms such as 748 Air Services, Silverstone, Jetlink and Fly540.

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Large aircraft pay Sh. 2,707 daily to park at airports like Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Sh. 63,355) and Sh. 76,000 to land during the day and night respectively. Small planes on the other hand are charged Sh. 1,625 daily parking fees and Sh. 24,150 and Sh. 29,000 for landing during the day and night respectively.

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