NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – Domestic flights in Kenya will resume operations beginning July 15 subject to virus prevention protocols, President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced.
In his address to the nation on the reopening of the economy, Kenyatta said that the new guidelines must approved by both the Ministry of Health and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
International passenger flights will resume operations on August 1 in measures to cushion the aviation 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 March 25 in measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease.
National carrier Kenya Airways had grounded almost all its operations save for cargo and government-approved repatriation flights.
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 to access the readiness of the facilities to flights.
The President’s directives comes at a time the national carrier has announced planned redundancies in a restructuring plan the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Allan Kilavuka attributed to reduced operations, owing to the suppressed demand for air transport.
Kilavuka added that some of the airline’s employees will also be forced to proceed on unpaid leave effective Monday, July 6.
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.
The firm attributed the loss to an increase in operating costs that grew by 12.4 per cent to Sh129.1 billion compared to Sh114.8 billion in 2018.