Hiring a Helicopter: As you hustle for a loan to buy a car-or a Boda Boda (motorbike), well oiled Kenyans are acquiring the latest models of ‘vehicles that fly through the air’.These moneyed boys form the bulk of our political elite. And most of these politicians have the dubious tag of cutting corner deals as those who gave them the jobs cheer them on.
The chief executive of Kenya Association of Air Operators, Mr. Eutychus Waithaka, says some of the helicopters being used are personally owned by the politicians while others have been leased from operators and branded during the hire. He added that the cost depends on the agreement reached with the company that owns the aircraft as there are no fixed rates in the market.
According to the current market rates, the cost of hiring a chopper ranges from $1,500 (Sh130,500) to $2,000 (Sh174,000) per hour, depending on the organization.
For example, ALS Limited, based at Wilson Airport with a fleet of 23 both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, charges about $1,700 (Sh147,900) per hour for its helicopters, with the minimum time one can pay for being two hours.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUY NEW HELICOPTER?
The French made AS Aerospatiale 350B3e Eurocopter is the most popular brand with Kenyans. The cost of this helicopter is US$1.9 million (ksh202.8 million). The cost goes upwards of kes350 million as the chopper has to be assembled in Kenya. It’s flown into the country in parts once it has been purchased.
Operating an helicopter is not cheap either. Here are other costs in average
Landing costs – ksh 1000
Parking fees per night – Ksh 10,000
Insurance depends on number of hours of driving. It however ranges between 8M-10M per month.