Kenyan airlines resume domestic passenger flights amid COVID-19

Thursday, July 16th, 2020 00:00 |
A Kenya Airports Authority staff member fumigates some of the items used by passengers at Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya, July 15, 2020. (Xinhua/Fred Mutune)

Kenyan airlines resumed domestic passenger flights on Wednesday after a break of more than three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
   Kenya Airways, and its sister carrier Jambojet, Safari Link and Fly 540 are among local airlines that resumed operations following the lifting of the restriction of movement in and out of Nairobi and Mombasa counties last week.
   Kenya Airways said it will fly two times daily to the coastal city of Mombasa and once daily to the lakeside city of Kisumu as it continues to review the option of increasing frequencies as demand picks.
   Allan Kilavuka, Kenya Airways CEO said that the airline's utmost priority continues to be the health and safety of the passengers, crew, and staff.
   "I want to thank our customers for giving us the opportunity to serve them and for trusting us to get them to their different destinations safely. A special mention to our staff for their outstanding contribution in ensuring that our customers continue to be reunited with their loved ones across our network," Kilavuka told journalists at the airport.
   "As we prepare to operate under exceptional circumstances, we look forward to welcoming more of our guests onboard and we remain committed to offering world-class service with a delightful African touch," he added.
   Kilavuka said the airline which made its return with a flight to the coastal city of Mombasa, has been working closely with the government through the Ministry of Health and Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to implement a wide range of safety measures and protocols as they gear up for the resumption of passenger services.
   Jambojet was the first to kick off the operations, lifting passengers to Eldoret in northwest Kenya ahead of Fly 540's return with a flight to Kisumu in western Kenya.
   SafariLink also marked its return with a flight to Lodwar in northern Kenya.
   While onboard the aircraft, customers will be required to adhere to the safety measures and protocols in place.
   Kilavuka said the airline will continuously review the protocols in place and update these where necessary to continue being ahead of the curve when it comes to safety.
   "I would like to assure the public that KAA has put in place the recommended health and safety protocols and we are ready to reconnect with our airport users," Alex Gitari, acting managing director, Kenya Airports Authority stated.
   "These protocols will be evaluated and updated whenever necessary. Accordingly, we request passengers and airport users to familiarize themselves and strictly observe the new protocols to safeguard the health and safety of all airport users," he added.
   Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) said the opening up of the country and resumption of domestic flights will contribute towards the recovery of Kenya's economy, which is reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
   "The resumption of domestic flights will add to the revival of domestic tourism that has recorded an all-time low. We will call upon Kenyans to take up opportunities to step out of their homes for a breath of fresh air and experientially get away from their homes," said Betty Radier, KTB CEO. (XInhua)

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