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Kenya Airways Suspends Operations in 8 African Countries, Blames COVID-19

KQ Flight taking off | Courtesy

Kenya Airways (KQ) has suspended operations in eight African routes, after experiencing a deep downturn, which it attributes to the COVID19 Pandemic.

In a statement to newsrooms, KQ said that the drastic decline in revenues has had a debilitating effect on the airline’s ability to continue operations.

“The immediate outlook of the industry is not promising. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that air travel will most likely take 2-3 years to recover to 2019 levels,” said KQ.

Among the routes that have been suspended include Nairobi – Luanda, Angola, Nairobi – Bamako, Mali, Nairobi – Brazzaville, Republic of Congo and Nairobi – Mogadishu, Somalia.

Others include Nairobi – Khartoum, Sudan, Nairobi – Djibouti, Djibouti, Nairobi – Blantyre, Malawi and Nairobi – Maputo, Mozambique.

“Kenya Airways will however continue to offer connections to its network via the Nairobi hub through its partners. Further, this action will not affect any special charter flights on request,” added the carrier.

Kenya Airways Cargo will also maintain the normal freighter services.

Read: Kenya Airways Yet To Receive Confirmation On Tanzania Flights Resumption

This comes barely a week after Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority Director General Hamza announced that KQ’s clearance to fly to the country had been revoked.

“The Authority regrets to inform you that, on a reciprocal basis, the Tanzanian Government has decided to nullify its approval for Kenya Airways flights between Nairobi and Dar/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar effective August 1, 2020 until further notice,” the letter read in part.

This was after Kenya released a list of 11 countries allowed into its airspace. Tanzania was missing from the list.

On Saturday, CS Macharia refuted claims that travellers from the John Magufuli-led country would not be allowed into Kenya.

He maintained that the flights issue would be resolved within the day.

“Travelers from Tanzania can come in as early as today. We never stopped those flights. This very minor issue has been sorted out and we believe that if not today, by tomorrow we shall find Kenya Airways flying again to Tanzania,” he said.

Kenya has been at loggerheads with Tanzania over the manner in which the latter has been handling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Magufuli declared the country Coronavirus free in June and thanked faithfuls for their prayers that helped eradicate the disease.

In May, President Uhuru Kenyatta closed Kenya’s border with Tanzania in order to curb the spread of the disease that has thus far killed over 400 people countrywide.

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