Kenya Airways Ready To Resume Passenger Flights As Jomo Kenyatta Airport Is Set To Reopen On  June 8th

Kenya Airways Ready To Resume Passenger Flights As Jomo Kenyatta Airport Is Set To Reopen On June 8th

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By Spy Uganda

Kenya: Kenya Airways, which was forced to ground majority of its 36 aircraft, which includes nine Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 10-Boeing 737 aircraft, and 17 Embraers due the Coronavirus outbreak early this year, is set to resume passenger flights on June 8th, 2020, the Transport Ministry has confirmed.

Ever since the closure of Kenyan Airports the Airline
has been losing an estimated Sh9.3 billion in revenue. On Tuesday, it announced
a net loss of Sh12.9 billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2019. (Xanax Online)

On the other hand, the Kenya Airports Authority is
putting in place the necessary operation manual ahead of the opening of the
country’s airports for passengers.

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In an interview with the TheSpy Uganda, Transport  Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the airline is ready to take back to the skies.

“This will however be subject to medical protocol”, Macharia said, which the government is keen to ensure both the national carrier and KAA comply with. “We expect KQ to fly from June 8 subject to medical protocols,” he added.

According to industry players, these include clearance
by the World Health Organization (WHO) and adherence to set specifics and
standards by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Among them is spacing at check-ins, waiting bays,
sanitising and neutralising of the middle seats in all aircraft.

“We are supporting KQ to get back to the skies,”
Macharia noted.

This week, staff at JKIA were taken through a two-day
pandemic preparedness training, a program of the East African Community
conducted by AMREF and funded by Germany.

The Sh708.1 million programme covers eight
international airports in the six EAC partner States.

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It involves a wide range of staff with close contact
to passengers and or their luggage, among them airport medical service
providers, aircraft and airline operators, selected crew members, staff at
immigration and customs, cargo and baggage handlers.

The training aims to build the knowledge of the staff
on safety measures, surveillance, prevention and control strategies and
relevant regional guidelines.

“These trainings are implemented at a critical point
in time, before international travel picks up again,” German Deputy Ambassador
Thomas Wimmer said.

However, the latest developments give hope to the
country’s aviation and travel industry, which is one of the most affected since
the government’s suspension on intentional flights in March to curb the spread
of the Coronavirus.

 “We started feeling
the effect in February after we stopped flying to China, then Italy and the
rest followed,” Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka said recently in an interview.

KQ, as it is known by its international code, has been
competing for cargo business, which is currently the only business available
for most airlines.

This is through its two Boeing 737-300 freighters and
the use of passenger planes to transport cargo.

KQ has also been flying specially arranged emergency
flights, mainly to evacuate citizens stranded abroad, or those seeking to fly
back home.

Such is the direct flight from Nairobi to London set
for June 4, where subject to sufficient demand, KQ will operate a specially
arranged flight which will depart from Nairobi at 9:20AM for London Heathrow.

The economy class ticket is going for approximately
$1,333(Sh142, 710) and $2,403 (about Sh257, 265) for business class.

Returning to the skies will be a big relief for the
airline which has a network of 53 destinations globally.

Kilavuka aid the airline will start with local flights
before moving to regional routes and inter-continental schedules.

“We will start with domestic and regional flights
at reduced frequency and then introduce some long haul at reduced frequency and
changed based on demand,” he revealed.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed airline saw a
12.4 per cent increase in operating costs, driven by an increase in capacity
deployed and an increase in fleet ownership costs attributed to the return of
two Boeing 787 aircraft that had been subleased to Oman Air.

The operating costs eroded gains made in revenues
which increased by 12.4 per cent to Sh128.3 billion, up from Sh114.2 billion in
2018.

Kilavuka has however warned of tough times ahead
before the industry fully picks, with passenger and revenue numbers expected to
drop by 65 per cent

According to the CEO, 
the propositions to neutralize the middle seat in aircraft will also
increase cost of travel by between 50 and 100 per cent.

Airlines in Europe and parts of Asia have commenced
operations, albeit on small-scale, as travelers remain cautious.

Macharia affirmed government’s support for KQ, which
is under the process of nationalisation, saying it remains critical for the
flower sector, fresh produce exports and the country’s tourism sector.

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