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Kenya to resume domestic flights next week

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6-Domestic flights in Kenya will resume operations beginning July 15 subject to various prevention protocols, President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced.

In his address to the nation on the phase reopening of the economy, Kenyatta said the new guidelines must be both approved by the Ministry of Health and the Civil Aviation Authority.

“Local travel within the territory of the republic of Kenya shall resume effective Wednesday the 15th of July,” Kenyatta announced.

At the same time international flights will resume operations beginning August 1st in government’s new directive to cushion the sector that has been hammered by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“International air travel in and out of Kenya shall resume effective August 1, in strict conformity with all protocols from the ministry of health,” he added.

All international flights to and from Kenya were suspended on Wednesday, March 25 due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease.

Kenya Airways for instance grounded almost all its operations save for cargo and government-approved repatriation flights.

The President had earlier this week hinted at the possibility on return of the air travel in a Corporate Council on Africa’s Inaugural Leaders Forum.

Ministry of Transport and Tourism James Macharia and Najib Balala had toured the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and the Moi International Airport (MIA) in Mombasa and expressed the facilities readiness to flights.

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The President’s announcement comes after Kenya Airways sent home where the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka pegged the restructuring on reduced operations, owing to the suppressed demand of air transport.  

Kilavuka added that some of the airline’s employees will also be forced to proceed on unpaid leave effective Monday as their services will not be needed under the new company’s strategy. .

Last week, KQ said it had lost in excess of Sh10 billion in revenue since January further predicting up to Sh50 billion loss by December in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The loss-making airline posted a net loss of Sh12.98 billion for the year which ended December 2019, compared to the Sh7.558 billion loss posted a year earlier.

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