British Airways resumes Nairobi-London operations

British Airways

A British Airways aircraft. AFP PHOTO

British Airways (BA) has resumed Nairobi-London flights bringing to an end a dispute that has lasted nearly five months over the management of Covid-19 pandemic.

The Airline said Monday that the first flight departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 23:10 hours on Sunday landing in London at 06:15 hours on September 6.

The airline charges an average fare of Sh171,000 for a return air ticket to London from Nairobi, which is slightly higher than the fare before the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will fly on the route once per week down from daily flights it was operating pre-pandemic.

“These direct return flights from Nairobi to the UK will enable many people to reunite with their loved ones who have been kept apart due to Covid-19,” Sohail Ali, British Airways’ Senior Vice President, Middle East and Africa, Airport Operations said in a statement yesterday.

“We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our flights and we are honoured to be playing our part in reuniting families and friends with their loved ones after such a long time apart.”

British Airways is resuming flights on the Nairobi-London route barely two months after Kenya lifted a ban on passenger flights between Nairobi and London ahead of the peak summer season.

In a surprise move, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June announced the resumption of flights to the UK after nearly a three-month hiatus.

This came barely a week after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority extended the ban for a second time to August 24.

The UK has segmented countries into a green, amber and red lists, each carrying different degrees of restrictions for arrivals back into the UK. A British citizen travelling from a green list is not required to undergo a mandatory quarantine.

Travellers arriving in the UK from countries on the red list will be denied entry, while returning Britons must submit to 10 days of mandatory quarantine in hotels.

The UK claims its decisions are based on scientific evidence on the incidents of deadly and highly contagious Covid-19 strains.

The rapidly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant, first identified in India, is dominant in western Kenya where it was initially detected.