Kenya’s low-cost regional airline Jambojet is planning a return to the skies beginning next week. As President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday announced a gradual reopening of the country’s economy, this morning, the carrier issued a statement saying it would resume flights to five local destinations beginning July 15th.
Traffic suspended for three months
The Kenya Airways’ subsidiary Jambojet suspended all traffic back in April when the Government of Kenya implemented far-reaching domestic travel bans. The authorities initially intended to keep the measures in place until the end of May. However, the restrictions on movement in and out of the counties of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Mandera remained in place until this month.
Jambojet will, from July 15th onwards, operate three daily flights from Nairobi to Mombasa, two to Kisumu, two to Eldoret, one to Malindi, and an additional four weekly flights to Diani. The frequencies are subject to change, depending on how demand continues to unfold.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Best practices protocol
The easing of the restrictions come on the back of a protocol with best practices for observing health regulation on commercial air transport, developed by Kenya’s Ministry for Transport and the Kenya Airports Authority.
“Since we halted operations back in April, we have been working with the Government of Kenya and the authorities to ensure that we create a safe environment for our customers when we get back to the skies. We want to assure our customers that we will follow the safety guidelines put in place to offer our customers a safe and pleasant flying experience,” said Jambojet acting Managing Director, Karanja Ndegwa in a statement seen by Simple Flying.
The measures taken by the carrier will include the sanitization of aircraft before and after each flight. It has also fitted all of its six Dash-8 planes with HEPA filters, which refresh the air about every three minutes.
Our Pilots have have been busy! They are taking training flights to stay current, and are ready to fly you to your favorite destination when skies open. We cannot wait to have you back on board! #FlyJambojet #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/cs4FS7Bo9T
— Jambojet.com (@FlyJambojet) July 6, 2020
As is becoming a custom these days, all crew and passengers will be required to wear face masks throughout the journey. Furthermore, temperature checks will be performed on arrival at the departure airport. Hand sanitizing stations will also be available at high-touch points.
International travel returning next month
In his speech on Monday, President Kenyatta said international air travel would be allowed to resume on August 1st. Although this is still conditional upon how the pandemic continues to evolve, this is not a moment too soon for struggling national airline Kenya Airways.
Kenya has the highest number of coronavirus cases in East Africa. At the time of writing, the country had 8,067 confirmed cases and 164 deaths. While this may not seem overwhelming for a population of over 51 million people, Kenya has only 518 critical care beds in total. Thus, it remains crucial to keep the spreading of the virus at bay, not to overload the country’s health care system.