, NAIROBI, Sept 1 – National carrier Kenya Airways has announced plans to suspend daily flights to Kisumu effective September 7.
In a statement on Tuesday, the airline attributed the suspension to the ongoing repairs and renovation of the Kisumu Airport runway by the Kenya Airports Authority.
KQ Commercial Director Mohan Chandra said: “The length of the Kisumu runway will become much shorter during the repair and renovation period. Therefore the Embraer E170 jets which ply this route will not be able to take off and land during this time."
Mr Chandra however assured that the airline will resume operations once renovations are complete. The repairs are expected to be completed by the end of November 2009.
“The runaway repairs are expected to improve the operations of the Kisumu Airport. Our aircrafts are not able to take full loads on the short runway,” he added.
The airline flies to Kisumu twice every day.
In July, 2009, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) banned heavy flights to Kisumu Airport to allow for expansion work.
KAA Managing Director George Muhoho said only small aircrafts would be allowed to operate as the expansion work got underway adding that the upgrade would take four months to complete.
Engineers at the site are rehabilitating the existing two-kilometre runway leaving only 1,200 meters for both landing and takeoff. Once completed, the airport will be able to handle large Boeing planes that would fly directly from Kisumu to other international destinations.
Kisumu Airport is the third busiest airport in the country after Moi International Airport, Mombasa and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.