Shipping & Logistics

Kenya Airways resumes flights to Dubai after lift of ban

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A Kenya Airways aircraft at JKIA. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The carrier said  Friday that passenger flights between Dubai and Nairobi will start on January 31, 2022, offering a major relief to hundreds of travellers who have been planning to travel between the two destinations.
  • Dubai-based carrier Emirates Airline is planning to resume passenger flights between the Middle East nation and Nairobi on January 29, 2022.

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ will resume passenger flights between the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) and Nairobi on Monday after Dubai lifted a ban it had imposed on all inbound and transit passenger flights from Kenya since last year.

The carrier said  Friday that passenger flights between Dubai and Nairobi will start on January 31, 2022, offering a major relief to hundreds of travellers who have been planning to travel between the two destinations.

“National carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced the resumption of daily flights to Dubai effective Monday, 31st January 2022,” said the carrier in a statement  Friday.

“Travelers will be free to re-book their flights with all penalties waived.”

Dubai-based carrier Emirates Airline is planning to resume passenger flights between the Middle East nation and Nairobi on January 29, 2022.

The two carriers suspended passenger flights between Dubai and Nairobi effective January 11 after Kenya temporarily stopped all passenger flights from Dubai to retaliate a move by Dubai to block it from its airspace.

The suspension of operations by the two airlines did not, however, affect cargo flights.  

While lifting the ban on Kenyan flights into Dubai on Wednesday, the UAE government also announced the resumption of entry for passengers from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, from January 29.

However, passengers from Uganda, Ghana, and Rwanda will be subjected to strict entry requirements into Dubai.

Dubai will require passengers from the three countries coming into the Middle East nation to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted at an approved facility no more than 48 hours before departure.

They also need to present a negative COVID-19 rapid test certificate with a QR code for a test conducted at the departure airport within six hours before departure and conduct a PCR test upon arrival.

UAE barred entry of flights from Kenya on December 20, 2021, after establishing that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival in the Middle East country despite presenting negative test results.

The Middle East nation extended the Kenya flight ban after it established that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general Gilbert Kibe said the scheme involved a racket of private medical testing centers that colluded with travellers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid their travel.

The Ministry of Health has however launched investigations into the matter with a view to bringing to book health officials who were involved in the shoddy deal that coasted Kenya millions of shillings in lost passenger revenues.