Kenya Airways (KQ) has launched a new service, dubbed Economy Max, for travellers who are concerned about social distancing. Fliers who want extra space for in-flight safety can now book an extra seat or row on Kenya Airways.

Passengers are allowed to book a seat or the row next to them within 48 hours and three hours of travelling.

Economy Max is the first service of its kind in Africa, since resuming flights in August last year.

In its July 2020 report, International Air Transport Association (IATA), stated that a study had revealed that travellers sought ways of travelling more comfortably amid the pandemic.

“The world we live in has changed. As an airline, we continue to adapt to the evolving needs of our customers as we recover from the effects of the pandemic,” said KQ’s Chief Commercial and Customer Officer Julius Thairu.

Airlines in India introduced the service last year as a way to boost passenger confidence while travelling. Some carriers in the United States blocked off seats to maintain social distancing but some have since resumed normal flight capacity.

Passengers can purchase seats online and pay via credit card. Once purchased, a confirmation email is sent to them with information about their flight and seat allocation.

Domestic passengers will pay Ksh. 1,647 ($15) for an extra seat and Ksh. 2,196 ($20) for two. Travellers from or to Nairobi from the Americas will pay Ksh. 13,176 ($120) for one seat, and Ksh. 25,254 ($230) for two.

Those heading to or from Europe will pay Ksh. 8,784 ($80) and Ksh. 16,470 ($150) for one and two seats respectively, while for the Middle East and Asia pay Ksh. 6,588 ($60) and Ksh. 12,078 ($110).

Passengers flying to African destinations will be charged Ksh. 4,941 ($45) for an extra seat and Ksh. 8,784 ($80) for two.