1 February 2014

Kenya: No Cancellation of UK Flights to Kenya - Envoy

Nairobi — The UK government has denied claims that flights to Kenya have been cancelled due to security concerns.

British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner says all UK flights to and from Kenya are operating normally.

Turner maintained that all what his government had done was to caution its citizens visiting Kenya to take care in public places and exercise a heightened level of vigilance.

"Rumours that UK has cancelled flights to Kenya are not true," Turner said on his Twitter account and called on UK nationals to follow a travel advisory issued last month.

Twitter users opined that the speculation may have stemmed from a 2003 Daily Mail article on flights to Kenya that popped up as a current article when opened.

The last UK travel advice was issued in January 17, and Britain says travel to Kenya has been trouble-free over the years but those coming here must be cautious.

The UK government issued the advice due to what it termed as threats from terrorism and other crime incidences.

"A small explosion took place at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on 16 January. There were no reported casualties. Airport services were not affected," a section of travel update stated.

Other attacks include the December 12, 2013 failed grenade attack on a vehicle in the Likoni area of Mombasa. On December 14, 2013 another explosion took place on a public bus in the Pangani area of Nairobi, in the outskirts of the Eastleigh suburb where six were killed and a further 24 injured.

The last major attack was in September 2013 at the Westgate shopping mall in Westlands, Nairobi, where 61 civilians and six security personnel were killed and scores injured.

"Mugging, kidnapping, car-jacking and armed robbery occur particularly in Nairobi, Mombasa and other large cities. Foreigners are not generally targeted, but incidents resulting in the death of 4 British nationals have occurred in the period August-September 2013," the UK cautioned in its advisory.

Available data shows a little over 185,000 British nationals visited Kenya in 2012.


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