KQ puts on hold plans to launch flights to Somaliland
PD Reporter and Xinhua
SUSPENSION: Kenya Airways (KQ) has said that plans to launch flights to Hargeisa, Somaliland are currently on hold pending requisite clearance and approvals.
“We currently do not have any flights in operation, contrary to information circulating on social media,” the national carrier said in a statement yesteday.
This comes as the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) suspended all flights to and from Somalia in a notice to airmen. In the notice, the Kenyan government did not give any reasons for the action.
The ban came days after Qatar brokered a breakthrough that saw Mogadishu restore diplomatic ties with Nairobi. Somalia restored diplomatic relations with Kenya after five months following mediation by Qatar led by Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani.
Meanwhile the Somali government on has regretted Kenya’s decision to suspend commercial flights to and from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. Somali Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Duran Farah said the decision by Nairobi will jeopardise the recently restored diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Farah told Radio Mogadishu that there was no direct communication between Mogadishu and Nairobi on the latter’s decision to suspend all chartered and scheduled flights to and from Somalia.
According to KCAA, only medical and humanitarian flights will be allowed. The Somali minister said that the government will state its position on Kenya’s suspension of all commercial flights at an appropriate time.
Kenya’s decision came a day after Somalia announced it would continue the ban on imports of khat, a traditional herbal stimulant, from Kenya despite a resumption of diplomatic ties.