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Kenya Rejects Oman Air’s Request To Repatriate Kenyans Stranded In India

Oman Air [Photo/Courtesy]

The Kenyan government has rejected a request by Oman Air to repatriate Kenyans stranded in India.

The airline through Vineet Nayyar, its North India Manager, had requested the Kenyan embassy in the Asian country to lobby New Delhi government to allow it to ferry home Kenyans stuck in the country that extended the international flight ban till August 31 over the coronavirus threat.

However, in a letter dated Monday, August 10, Kenyan Ambassador to India Willy Bett rejected the request on grounds that the Middle Eastern carrier is engaging in a government function.

Bett stated that clearance for special/evacuation flights from India should be done between Government to Government.

“The Kenya High Commission is not in a position to seek clearance for a non-Kenyan airline. You may wish to ask for assistance from Oman Embassy in Nairobi and New Delhi, ” Said Bett.

Read: 700 Kenyans Stranded Abroad Evacuated, Gov’t Encourages Stuck Citizens To Shelve Travel Plans

The ambassador added that the Kenya High Commission does not engage with airline agents in dealing with repatriation flights.

He called on the airline agents to stop with immediate effect from engaging Kenyans in India with matters of repatriation which he said is a government function.

Kenya reopened its airspace for international flights on August 1 after months of closure.

In May, the Kenyan embassy in India facilitated return of 300 Kenyans who had been stranded in the country after the Indian government closed its borders following the outbreak of the virus.

Most of the Kenyans, who were repatriated at their own costs, had travelled out of the country to seek specialized medical care.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege

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