KQ to wait longer for Indian flights


A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ will wait longer to resume scheduled flights on the Indian routes after the civil aviation regulator extended restrictions on the route for another 30 days.

The national carrier had planned to restart the Indian route, which is one of the most lucrative destinations on its network, in anticipation that the restriction imposed in April will be lifted.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) in a notice to the airmen (Notam) said the ban on Indian flights has extended to August 20.

Kenyan citizens and Indians who are local residents are allowed to fly in on charter flights and have to undergo a 14 day quarantine and present evidence of negative Covid-19 tests taken 96 hours before flying

KQ is at the moment operating chartered flights—which have been catering for repatriations-- on demand as opposed to the scheduled trips.

KQ suspended its flights to India in April this year following high cases of Covid-19 in that country, which prompting KCAA to issue a notice banning flights to or from Nairobi to Mumbai.

“India is one of the routes that we would want to resume if the Notam would have been lifted because it is a key route for us,” said Kenya Airways.

India has seen soaring infection rates in the recent days, since the discovery of a new virus variant. On Thursday, India put on lockdown one of the states following a spike in cases of Covid-19.

Other countries that have banned flights to India include Bangladesh, the UK, Oman, France and Hong Kong that have banned travel to and from India or asked their nationals coming from the Asian country to isolate themselves in government-approved hotels.

India detected 43,509 new corona cases on Thursday this week with the number of deaths hitting 640 within the same period.

A lot of Kenyans travel to India for medical attention and they the form the largest customers for Kenya Airways.