Blow to Fly540 Airline as flight bookings advertising suspended

Passengers disembark a Fly540 airline aircraft. [File, Standard]

The Competition Authority of Kenya has dealt a blow to Fly540 airline.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Authority said it conducted market screening into claims by Fly540 customers, which prompted the suspension. 

“Pursuant to Sections 31 and 70A of the Act, the Authority undertook market screening into consumer-related infringements emanating from over 50 consumer complaints lodged against the airline Fly540 Limited (Fly540)." 

According to the authority, some of the allegations against the airline are:

False and misleading information on its capability to provide air transport services to passengers and the possibility of amending flight itinerary; arbitrary and/or short notice cancellation of flights and inordinate delays in refunding consumers.

The outcome of said market screening has had several consequences. 

“In furtherance of achieving its consumer protection mandate, the Authority has issued a cease and desist order against Fly540 following the sustained complaints and in order to prevent them from engaging in any consumer-related infringement,” said Mugambi.

The Authority has since suspended Fly540’s advertising, in a bid to protect the public interest and irreparable damage, 

“Fly540 is hereby directed to, with immediate effect, cease and desist from advertising flight bookings through electronic, print, and social media or receiving any flight bookings from the public or travel agents until the ongoing investigations are completed. Fly540 has also been ordered to refund customers with outstanding ticket refund claims by November 30,  2022,” said Mugambi.

The Authority says investigations are still ongoing to interrogate whether the airline has contravened section 55 of the Act outlawing false and misleading representation as well as section 56 on unconscionable conduct while undertaking its commercial activities.

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