Nairobi — Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says the resumption of local flights will revive the tourism sector and rescue the country's economy from collapsing due to coronavirus effects.
He spoke this morning at the launch Kenya Airways' passenger services to domestic destinations, which include Kisumu, Mombasa and Diani ahead of the resumption of international flights on August 1.
The CS urged Kenya Airways to use the return to local skies as a benchmark for success in terms of ensuring safety against the coronavirus.
"Let me thank Jomo Kenyatta Airport for making sure protocals are being followed. Let us ensure this is a success, because if we do not do it properly, that opportunity of going international may be reversed," the CS said.
The return is a boost to the national carrier which had lost an estimated Sh10.6 billion in revenues in the six months to June.
Earlier this week, KQ's Group Managing Director/CEO Allan Kilavuka outlined some of the protocols that have been put in place; these include passengers wearing masks at all times, seats and toilets being cleaned and fumigated frequently.
The airline shall also have sanitinizers at hand, as well as ensure blankets are used only once.
Commenting on the development, KQ board Chair Michael Joseph says the airline has adhered to the protocols that are necessary to safely fly, in accordance to international standards.
The airline will continuously review the protocols in place and update these where necessary to continue being ahead of the curve when it comes to safety.
The airline will fly two times daily to the coastal city of Mombasa and once daily to the lakeside city of Kisumu as it continues to review the option of increasing frequencies as demand picks.
The airline has been working closely with the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health and Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to implement a wide range of safety measures and protocols ahead of the resumption.
At the same time, Jambojet, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways has resumed its domestic flights.
The airline will therefore return to flying to Kisumu, Mombasa, Eldoret and Malindi from its Nairobi hub.
Other airlines that have returned to the skies include Fly540 and Safarilink.