KQ resumes international flights amid ban from Tanzanian airspace

Kenya Airways plane taking off./COURTESY

Kenya Airways (KQ) resumed its international flights on Saturday amid tirade from Tanzanian government banning the airline from its airspace.

The airline has embarked offering services following the ease of movement restrictions as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In a statement , KQ Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Alan Kilavuka,said the airline’s  first international flights departed to; London, Dubai, Addis Ababa, Kigali, and Lusaka.

Kilavuka said there will be gradual increase network with flights to Paris, Mumbai and Amsterdam, during the month.

In Africa, the airline will operate flights to Accra, Dzaoudzi, Freetown, Harare, Kilimanjaro, Lagos, Monrovia, Moroni, Nampula ultimately Zanzibar,based on demand and other factors, resumption of services to other destinations around the globe will occur.

Kilavuka said that the Airline plans to start operations to USA, China and Thailand from October 2020.

He indicated that these destinations require bulk of network to open up so as to sustain adequate traffic on the routes.

“Since resuming domestic flights on 15thJuly 2020, we have been monitoring the adherence to the protocols that we have in place to ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff, and I am pleased that they are being enforced and followed strictly,” Kilavuka said  .

“The resumption of our international flights is an important milestone for us.Through the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to provide connections for our farmer’s produce to reach international markets, medical supplies to reach our people through our Cargo flights, as well as reuniting families through the repatriation flights we mounted with support from the Government of Kenya,” he added

He said the airline is  looking forward to kick start economies, not only for Kenya but also for those countries that it  operates

Some of the safety measures the airline has put in place to ensure safety of passengers include use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by the flight crew and airport workers where necessary.

The airline is also providing sanitizer stations onboard and washing of hands will be encouraged by crew on board the flights.

Notably all the aircrafts are fitted with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which ensure the quality of air on board is kept clean by constant filtration and replacement with air from outside.

The filters also trap particulates such as viruses and bacteria, and as the air flows primarily from the ceiling to the floor, helping to minimize particulates spreading throughout the cabin.

The airline will continuously review the protocols in place and update where necessary to ensure health and safety of all.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the tourism and aviation industries, globally ,said in a statement. 

According to IATA, demand for travel is forecast to fall by 58% in 2020, while passenger revenues will decline by over $6 billion compared to the previous year. Kenya’s tourism industry meanwhile has lost 80 billion shillings ($752 million) in revenue so far due to the crisis.