National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has suspended passenger flights to and from Mumbai, India, until further notice.
In a statement released on Friday, the airline said the decision is in line with the Kenyan government’s move to suspend passenger flights to and from India for 14 days effective Saturday, May 1, over a spike in Covid-19 cases.
KQ said its last passenger flight will arrive in Nairobi from Mumbai before midnight on Saturday.
Cargo flights to and from India will not be affected.
“KQ cargo operations will continue in order to facilitate delivery of emergency supplies including pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to Kenya and across Africa,” KQ said.
Affected customers have been asked to change their flight booking for later travel or exchange their booking for a voucher that can be used for future travels within 12 months.
On change of travel, the airline explained that customers whose bookings are impacted can make unlimited changes to their tickets at no extra cost for travel in the same cabin as previously ticketed. Customers can change to an earlier or later flight operated by Kenya Airways to/from Mumbai.
Customers can leave their tickets open until May 31, 2021.
“Open tickets will be valid for 1 year from the date of original issue. New travel dates can be rebooked and ticketed free of charge within the same cabin and seasonality for any future flight/destination. If the new ticket is a higher fare, the passenger will only pay the fare difference and taxes (in case of change in seasonality and/or routing),” the airline explained.
All tickets must be utilized before March 31, 2022.
The airline said refunds can be offered via an Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) Voucher that can be utilized within one year from date of issue.
“Customers who do not wish to take advantage of any of the provided rebooking options may still submit tickets/EMDs already issued for refund. Refund penalties will be waived,” KQ said.
“Partially utilized tickets should be refunded less 70% of the sector already travelled. However due to the current situation, we ask for understanding as there will be delays in processing refund requests.
“We apologise to all our customers for the inconvenience and reaffirm that the safety of our customers and staff remains our highest priority.”
India is reporting a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases and fatalities, raising alarm over the situation in the second-most populous country in the world.
At least 18 million cases and 205,000 deaths have so far been confirmed, with reports indicating that the situation has left hospitals, morgues and crematoriums overwhelmed.
On Thursday alone, 386,452 more cases were recorded, the biggest one-day increase on record for any country.
There were another 3,500 deaths, with Delhi recording its highest single-day toll of fatalities at almost 400.