National carrier Kenya Airways passenger flights might resume, earliest September.
According to the airline which has suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business could resume then but warns it will be a gradual process.
In its latest annual report, KQ explains, “There is reasonable expectation that the flights could resume in the third quarter of the year with business expected to have started at very low capacity and a gradual ramp-up, influenced by gradual lifting of travel bans, uncertain passenger confidence and health safety measures.”
Further, the airline says, plans to engage key stakeholders are in top gear “thereby allowing the airline to grow back its revenue base and gradually cover its fixed costs.”
In May, KQ posted a net loss of Sh12.98 billion for the year ended December 2019, compared to the Sh7.558 billion loss posted a year earlier.
Last week, changes were made at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in preparation for resumption of flights and gradual opening of the economy.
Photos in our possession showed that social distancing rules were being established in the queuing area as well as the sitting area.
Sky priority passengers and diplomats will also been required to observe the same health guidelines at their designated areas. Sky priority passengers in most cases have paid extra to receive special treatment, like VIPs. With Sky Priority travel, you experience little extras at check-in, security, boarding and baggage delivery.
But on Saturday, June 6, President Uhuru Kenyatta extended the international travel ban by another 30 days.
He did, however, direct the Ministry of Transport to engage all key stakeholders and develop protocols to guide the resumption of local air travel within seven days.
In March, the country closed her borders, canceled international flights, and imposed strict entry and quarantine requirements to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
As a result of travel restrictions, Kenyans especially those in the hospitality and tourism industries have lost their sources of livelihood.
The government did however, allocate the tourism sector Ksh6 billion (US$56 million) to assuage the sudden fall of the industry.
A total of Ksh2 billion will be set aside to support renovation of facilities and the restructuring of business operations by stakeholders in the industry. This will be in the form of soft loans to be administered by the Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) to the establishments.