Kenya Airways Resumes Local Flights

Kenya Airways planes at JKIA in Nairobi.

National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has resumed local flights today.

This comes amid strict measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, after halting operations for 99 days.

Its subsidiary, Jambojet, is also back to the skies.

The carrier started off with flights to Mombasa and Kisumu that took off Wednesday morning at an event flagged off by Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

The Kisumu flight left the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 10.30am and landed at 11:20am in the lakeside city with 66 passengers aboard.

The plane to Mombasa's Moi Airport took off at 10am.

CHANGES AT AIRPORTS

However, travelers will have to brace themselves for a markedly different environment at Kenya's airports and aboard aircrafts occasioned by new safety measures.

For instance, passengers will now be required to sanitise their hands several times, starting from the main gate up until the point of boarding the plane.

They will also pass through temperature screening points and be expected to wear face masks at all times.

Sitting and queuing at the airport has also been reconfigured to ensure social distancing, with signs placed at different points for passengers to know where to stand or sit.

CS Macharia said the government will rely on the performance of local flights to see how to go about resuming international flights.

"It is up to the KQ management to ensure it uses this period to grow demand. If the performance of domestic flights will be poor, we may have to reschedule reopening of international flights," Mr Macharia said.

NO MEALS

While on board, passengers were not offered meals as is usually the case, and were only given water.

Suspension of meals while on board is one of the measures in place for resumption of local flights.

KQ Managing Director Allan Kilavuka said the airline already projects that  demand will rise, adding that the second flight to Mombasa -- scheduled for Wednesday afternoon -- is fully booked.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Ojina

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