After over three and a half months spent without carrying passengers, Kenya Airways will resume domestic passenger flights tomorrow – July 15th. This resumption date coincides with the Kenyan Government’s lifting of a travel ban that restricted movement in and out of Nairobi and Mombassa counties. The resumption of these domestic services comes in advance of the airline’s plan to resume international services on August 1st.
The flag carrier of Kenya will resume service out of its Nairobi hub to two domestic destinations. The airline has already begun to market the flights on its website and social media:
“Kenya Airways takes to the skies again with routine service on our Nairobi to Mombasa and Kisumu routes starting 15th July 2020. As such we look forward to welcoming you aboard again, and flying you safely, efficiently and to the level of service and hospitality that made us the Pride of Africa.”
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Domestic services to resume tomorrow
Kenya Airways says that it will operate once-daily flights between Nairobi (NBO) and Kisumu (KIS), as well as twice-daily service between Nairobi and Mombasa (MBA). The twice-daily services will connect Kenya’s capital city with the country’s second-most-populous city. Mombasa is known as a popular vacation destination and an important city for commerce with its status as a major cargo port.
According to Logistics Update Africa, Kenya Airways board chairman Michael Joseph is eager to get going. Mr Joseph commented earlier in the week:
“From a Kenya Airways point of view, we all want to go as soon as possible. If we could fly tomorrow, we could fly tomorrow. We need to fly, the country needs us to fly, and the business needs us to fly.”
Airline CEO Allan Kilavuka says that he looks forward to welcoming more guests onboard and that the airline remains committed to “offering world-class service with a delightful African touch.”
The airline hopes to reassure guests that it will be safe to step aboard their aircraft. A promotional video put out by the airline informs travelers of safety procedures being taken at the airport and onboard to combat the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
This includes at least one temperature check at the airport and frequent sanitizing of surfaces and touchpoints. Furthermore, the cabin crew will be wearing full PPE and offering an ‘enhanced’ onboard service, which includes pre-packaged meals.
It also advises passengers to play their own part in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 by checking-in online and wearing a face mask at all times at the airport and onboard. The airline also recommends bringing an extra mask.
International services to resume August 1st
The airline has yet to release its international schedule. Although August 1st may be the first day international services begin, we may not see all destinations available on that day. Instead, its website states that “due to COVID-19, our flight schedule is rapidly evolving as we are guided by the different countries border regulations.”
For example, it’s likely that Kenya Airways’ New York service won’t kick-off at the beginning of August, given the challenges the United States has had in containing the virus. It seems more likely that the airline would resume international service within the region first – perhaps to Kigali (Rwanda), Entebbe (Uganda), and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).