NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – China Southern Airlines has refuted claims that it has halted direct flights between Nairobi- China.
This is after a section of the media said the airline was canceling all its four direct flights over coronavirus fears.
In a statement, the airline said it was only suspending flights on its two routes for 14 days starting February 11 to February 24, and will resume flights once a week starting February 25 to March 25.
“We are only suspending the flights from 11th to 24th to resume thereafter. We have already communicated with our customers,” the airline said.
The airline operates direct flights on the Nairobi-Changsha route on Sundays and Wednesdays and the Nairobi-Gaungzhou route on Mondays and Fridays.
The Nairobi-Changsha route, which targets people doing business in the Chinese state, was launched in June 2019 to expand China’s base in the region. The direct flight between Nairobi and Guangzhou was launched in 2015.
Airlines around the world have been canceling, while others have been suspending flights to China over the coronavirus that has left more than 900 people dead and infected more than 34,000 people.
Two weeks ago, Kenya Airways suspended flights to and from Guangzhou, China.
President Uhuru Kenyatta however, defended the airline’s decision to halt the flights, saying the country lacked the necessary systems to fight the deadly disease which has since been declared a global epidemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Kenyatta said the stringent measures were only taken because Kenya has weaker medical systems that could not contain the virus.