Major international airlines are set to resume passenger schedule flights to Kenya, bringing new hopes for fast track recovery of regional tourism after four months of air transport restrictions to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kenya, the regional tourism hub for Eastern and Central Africa had declared its position to open its skies as earlier August, with leading and major international airlines set to resume passenger scheduled flights.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the leading carrier of tourists from the United States of America and Europe said will resume flights from next Monday while British Airways (BA) is set to resume its flights to Nairobi next Saturday, August 1 and Qatar Airways next Monday, August 3.
Kenyan Minister for Tourism Najib Balala said this Sunday that the major airlines from the world’s leading tourist sources were all set to resume flights to Kenya, the tourism hub for the Eastern and Central African region.
Air France and Emirates are the other leading global airlines to resume flights to Kenya in early August.
Air France will resume flights to the country on Thursday, August 6, and will operate one flight to Paris every Friday.
Qatar Airways is set to operate 14 weekly flights, while British Airways will operate four weekly flights. KLM will also operate four weekly flights (four flights per week).
Reports from the Kenyan capital Nairobi said that Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had lifted air travel restrictions to normal in his last Presidential address on Covid-19 the past days with strict compliance on directives meant to curb the spread of the pandemic.
Balala said that health and safety remain the government’s topmost priority, amid the gradual opening of the economy.
Emirates operated a repatriation flight to Dubai on Tuesday, July 28, with passengers able to make purchases for onward destinations as long as they are compliant with the destination country’s travel guidelines.
The return to the Kenyan and the East African skies by leading airlines would boost regional tourism, taking into account Kenya’s position in the region.
Kenya Airways had resumed its domestic flights a few days ago as several measures been effected at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport to ensure safety against the Coronavirus spread.
Passengers are required to sanitize their hands several times as well as wearing masks, also passing through temperature screening points to ensure safety.
Travel restriction and suspension of international airlines had seen various hotels closing down in Kenya and its neighboring countries which depend on Kenya’s developed tourism infrastructure as a source of their visitors.
Nairobi is the tourist hub and a link between Europe and the Americas with other Eastern and Central African regional states.
Rwanda Development Board has opened borders for commercial flights from August 1, and Rwanda Air, the national carrier, will resume passenger services between Kigali International Airport and Dubai three times a week
Additionally, routes between Kigali and other African airports, such as Kilimajaro, Dar es Salaam, Cotonou, Nairobi, Lusaka, Libreville and Douala resumed in the first week of August.