Busy airspace as local flights commence amid coronavirus pandemic
Noel Wandera and Harrison Kivisu
Kenya yesterday made a bold signal it is ready for business amid the Covid-19 pandemic allowing domestic flights to resume in what is expected to trigger a rebound in the tourism sector and the economy.
Kenya Airways (KQ) domestic passenger planes took to the skies for the first time, after a four-month hiatus, headed for Mombasa and Kisumu where daily flights will operate.
Kenya Airways sister carrier Jambojet will have to contend with Safari Link and FLY 540 who are also in the market having taken off to various destinations Wednesday.
“Kenya Airways will fly two times a day to Mombasa, and once every day to Kisumu as it continues to review frequencies as demand picks,” said managing director and chief executive Allan Kilavuka.
International flights are set to begin mid-August after passenger planes were grounded in March.
The airline has grounded a majority of its 36 aircraft, which includes nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 10 Boeing 737 aircraft, and 17 Embraers.
Kenya Tourism Board chief executive Betty Radier said resumption of domestic flights will contribute towards economic recovery efforts amid Covid-19 shocks.
“The resumption of domestic flights will add to the revival of domestic tourism that has recorded an all-time low.
We will call upon Kenyans to take up opportunities to step out of their homes for a breath of fresh air and experiential get away from their homes” said Radier.
KQ has been working closely with the government through the Ministry of Health and Kenya Airports Authority to implement a wide range of safety measures and protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are well prepared with Covid-19 precautionary measures because we know many guests are trooping Mombasa, either for holiday or business activities.
We therefore tell all the visitors to adhere to set precautionary measures to contain the spread of the disease,” said Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi.