KQ mulls suspending London, France flights as lockdown hits travel


A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ is mulling suspending of flights to London and France following the second wave of lockdown that has slowed down demand on these routes.

KQ says it is assessing the impact of the lockdown measures on their flight schedule even as it puts measures in place to accommodate passengers who might be affected by the move.

Last week, KQ chief executive officer Allan Kilavuka said the airline was looking at suspending the Paris flight because of low demand on the route, occasioned by travel restrictions imposed by France.

“Following the announcement of the lockdown measures in England and France, we are assessing any possible impact to our flight schedule. If your flight will be affected, we will contact you to advise on the alternative,” said the airline.

Several countries in Europe have imposed restrictive measures to curb the spread of the virus. France and Germany have imposed a countrywide lockdown. England has also been put on a 14-day lockdown.

French President Emmanuel Macron declared a new nationwide lockdown starting Friday last week, saying the country has been “overpowered by a second wave.”

Many doctors had urged the move, given that 58 per cent of the nation’s intensive care units are now taken up by Covid-19 patients, according to AP news agency.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a four-week shutdown of bars, restaurants and theatres.

“We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency,” she said.

In England, the authority has announced a 14-day lockdown to curb the growing numbers of the Covid-19 cases.

London is one of the busiest routes for Kenya Airways in Europe. It is among the first destinations that the carrier started flying to after the resumption of the international flights on August 1.

KQ was to resume New York flights last Saturday but cancelled the plan at the last minute following a meeting by the management last week after the route witnessed huge cancellation on account of polls in the US and growing Covid-19 cases.