Editorials

EDITORIAL: Ease aviation sector pain

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Passengers disembark from Jambojet flight at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Like other businesses, local airlines are feeling the pinch of the coronavirus pandemic that, among other things, has forced the operators to cut fares on the domestic routes due to limited demand.
  • Some have had to suspend operations due to the virus-related restrictions, including social distancing while some businesses have scaled-down activity, hurting travel margins.

Like other businesses, local airlines are feeling the pinch of the coronavirus pandemic that, among other things, has forced the operators to cut fares on the domestic routes due to limited demand.

Some have had to suspend operations due to the virus-related restrictions, including social distancing while some businesses have scaled-down activity, hurting travel margins.

But even as the airlines struggle with the health-related turbulence, they are still saddled with mandatory costs including loans and regulatory fees like spare parts inspection, which end up causing more pain. Although the State has announced some relief plans, there is a need to offer the sector more headroom like subsidised loans while suspending some of the regulatory payments.

Aviation, being one of the most complex businesses, requires special protection during these turbulent times to reduce the mounting losses and also give them enough runway to resume normal business after the virus attack.