Editorials

End Dubai, Kenya flights tiff

emirates

An Emirates Airlines plane. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The ban comes barely a few days after UAE extended the Kenya flight ban after it established that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 on arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results.
  • The Ministry of Health is investigating the testing racket with a promise to punish health officials who were involved.

Kenya has suspended all inbound and transit passenger flights from the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) in apparent retaliation against Dubai to ban all passenger flights from Kenya over fake Covid certificates.

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

The Ministry of Health is investigating the testing racket with a promise to punish health officials who were involved.

But even as the ministry takes action, Kenya and UAE must come back to the table and find more diplomatic ways to end the stalemate, which promises to hurt tourism and trade as well as inconvenience travellers.

The two countries must ensure that passengers travelling into their nations are fully vaccinated and seal all loopholes leading to the issuance of fake Covid tests.

It is worth noting that a ban on passenger travel is likely to see Emirates Airlines, as well as Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ, lose millions of shillings in passenger revenues.

The ban is also likely to deal a blow to the struggling aviation industry and even the countries image in the global war against the pandemic.